Ringling football's magical run ends with last-second loss in Class A State Championship

Beau Bearden
The Daily Ardmoreite
Blue Devils senior Julius Koons applies pressure to Cashion quarterback Ben Harman.

EDMOND — One of the toughest feelings in sports is a last-second loss, especially when it comes in the Class A State Championship.

The Ringling High School football team experienced that misfortune Saturday during a 21-14 setback to Cashion at University of Central Oklahoma.

“Two great teams and it came down to that (play),” said Blue Devils head coach Phil Koons. “Cashion came out on top, but I’m still proud of our guys. We made it this far.”

Ringling held Cashion off the scoreboard for almost the entire second half, but the Wildcats finally found the end zone on a nine-yard scoring strike with eight seconds remaining.

However, the Blue Devils have no reason to hand their heads after a season that featured 14 straight wins.

“We had a lot of success,” Koons said. “We won four playoff games to get here. It’s a long, arduous, drudging season. The kids worked hard every day. They deserve to be here. No one deserves to lose. Unfortunately, it’s us. I have no complaints about these kids. I just wish maybe I could have done something more to help them get that gold. But I’m proud of them and I love them.”

It’s safe to say that passion carried onto the field as Ringling was locked in a defensive battle all game. Each squad traded touchdowns in the first half as Cashion scored first before Kaden Barron answered on a 12-yard run with 2:27 remaining in the opening quarter.

Coltin Fincher then knotted the game at 14-14 on a 25-yard touchdown run with 1:36 left in the first half.

“We had a chance to win this game, but we didn’t get it done,” Koons said. “I’m proud of our kids. Those seniors worked so hard in the offseason. They’re a bunch of brothers who love each other. They’re my sons. I’m proud of them.”

That’s especially the case for Koons, as it was his son Julius' final game as a Blue Devil.

“It hurts,” Koons said. “My boy is part of this senior class. He’s done so much. He played safety and receiver last year. And for him to come up to me at the beginning of the season and say, ‘I want to play center.’ It shows a lot of character on his part. He’s certainly going to be missed.”