WYNNEWOOD — Jace Brown's first drive at Wynnewood was a memorable one.
He hopes his last will offer even better memories.
The senior quarterback will guide the Savages against Ringling in the Class A state championship at 1 p.m. Saturday in Stillwater.
“It's pretty nice knowing that all your work in the summer and in two-a-days is paying off,” Brown said. “It's finally here and we have a chance to be a state champion and playing in Boone Pickens Stadium is pretty nice.”
When Brad O'Steen arrived at Wynnewood, it didn't take him long to realize the freshman would give his team the best chance to win.
“From the first day of practice, we knew,” O'Steen said. “He understands what his role is and does what it takes to help us win.”
Once Brown got on the field in a game situation, O'Steen's feelings were quickly confirmed.
In the 2009 season opener against a Davis team that went on to go 12-1, Brown marched Wynnewood right down the field on the first drive, throwing a touchdown pass to put the Savages on the board.
“That was kind of a realizing moment that this could be my job as the quarterback,” Brown said.
Wynnewood went on to lose that game 49-14, but the way Brown handled that initial jolt of pressure stuck with O'Steen.
“That's when I knew he was going to be a special kid,” O'Steen said. “It showed he had the demeanor of not buckling under pressure and he could handle that spot.”
Four years later, Brown has helped guide Wynnewood to the brink of its first title since 1992.
Brown has thrown for more than 2,500 yards and 25 touchdowns with just two interceptions.
“Everything he does, the way he manages the game, has been great,” Savages running back Trey Knowles said. “Especially when he's on the field in big games. He knows where to go with the ball and makes great decisions.”
Tracy Gandy has spent plenty of time watching Brown play this week.
The Ringling coach has the task of figuring out a way to slow the Savages' offense down.
“I don't know that I've seen him throw a bad ball on tape,” Gandy said of Brown. “You can't rattle him. He makes great decisions with the ball. He's as good of a deep-ball thrower as you'll ever see. It's scary how well he throws it.”
O'Steen said he has seen Brown make a pass or two he'd like to have back but it doesn't happen often.
“Well, he's made a couple but it's pretty rare,” O'Steen said. “He's very picky with the ball. He doesn't put us in bad situations.”