High school football: OCS on historic run
Oklahoma Christian School on the brink of doing something no other Saints football team has done: reach the semifinals in an 11-man football playoff.
Oklahoma Christian School of Edmond once was a power in eight-man football.
Five times, the Saints reached the state championship game but lost each time, including in 2001, the last year OCS played eight-man football.
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The Saints had such success in eight-man football that some were unhappy about the jump to 11-man in 2002.
“They were so dominant a lot of people around the program didn't want to go to 11-man football,” OCS coach Derek Turner said. “But the school got so big they had to do that.”
The Saints haven't been slouches playing the 11-man game either.
OCS has been a perennial playoff team since moving up. But if the Saints defeat Stroud Friday night in the Class 2A quarterfinals, it will be their deepest playoff run since beginning 11-man football.
OCS, 11-1, also won its first district title this season since leaving eight-man football.
Turner took over as Saints head coach in 2008 but has been on the coaching staff since 2003.
If OCS was going to continue the kind of success it had in eight-man football, the Saints' coaches determined they “needed to do some things to kind of push ourselves to the next level,” Turner said.
To compete with the elite in Class 2A, Turner started studying them, including teams such as Hennessey, which is seeking a third straight state championship this season.
“You've got to respect those people who done it before you and try to figure out and try to emulate that the best you can,” Turner said.
One of the things Turner learned from Hennessey was to play a tough schedule.