Despite Saturday night's loss, it's hard to view Bobby Klink's first season as Tulsa East Central's head coach as anything but an astounding success.
Klink's Cardinals fell to Carl Albert 24-8 in the Class 5A state championship game at Boone Pickens Stadium Saturday night.
After last season, East Central head coach Travis Hill resigned amid a Tulsa Public Schools investigation. Shortly thereafter, his replacement, Ben Bowling, stepped down in the aftermath of a DUI incident.
Klinck, the former Jenks star who played collegiately at both Oklahoma and Tulsa took over the program in late spring and had only a few days to prepare for spring practice.
The team was forced to forfeit its first four games for using an ineligible sophomore, an issue that was caused by the school's failure to file the proper paperwork before Klinck was hired.
Saturday's loss was the team's only actual defeat on the field.
The Carl Albert defense didn't give up much of anything Saturday night, aside from a few trick plays.
Receiver Stanvon Taylor threw three passes off reverses or handoffs, passing back across the field to quarterback Tre'von Cherry.
The first completion set up a touchdown, and the second converted a two-point try for an 8-0 lead in the second quarter.
Taylor hit Cherry again in the third quarter, but that drive stalled a few plays later.
Taylor, a standout receiver and defensive back, finished with 68 passing yards.
Tulsa East Central lineman Michael Johnson was a busy two-way player Saturday night, but if you weren't watching closely, you probably didn't notice.
The senior defensive end wears jersey No. 42, but when the Cardinals had the ball, Johnson would put a second jersey, No. 65, over the top of his standard uniform and enter the game as right tackle.
The No. 65 jersey was an older style and had red numbers, instead of the white numbers on the rest of the team's uniforms.
Johnson is listed on the roster as a fullback and moved to the line because of injuries.
ACADEMIC CHAMPIONS HONORED
State semifinalist Bishop McGuinness was honored as the Class 5A academic state champion, joining Bartlesville in Class 6A and Oologah in Class 4A.
In the eight-man classes, Laverne and Deer Creek-Lamont were named academic champions in Class B and C, respectively.