Oklahoma high school football: Edmond Santa Fe wins Edlam battle behind big second half
EDMOND – The stadium lights came on, parking lot filled up and fans gathered in the stands.
The scene was one that happens every week across high school football stadiums in Oklahoma. But this was no Friday night.
Wolves Stadium was lit up, glowing across the Edmond sky on Monday night as the year’s final Edlam battle on the gridiron commenced. Edmond Memorial made the short journey down 15th Street to battle its district rival Edmond Santa Fe. As the teams took the field through their inflatable tunnels and the ball was kicked off, it seemed like a normal high school football game.
Class 6A-I No. 5 Santa Fe topped Memorial 46-20, earning the city champs title for the sixth straight season. Senior running back Ethan Hyche rushed for 167 yards on 26 carries with three touchdowns.
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“It felt like a normal Friday night,” Santa Fe coach Kyle White said. “But now we’ve got a quick turnaround to get ready for our next game.”
Memorial tied the game at 20 early in the third quarter on Carson Riney's 20-yard run, but Santa Fe (2-2, 1-0 District 6A-I-1) scored on all four of its possessions in the second half to pull away.
Although most teams across the state had their district openers Friday, Santa Fe and Memorial decided to delay theirs until Monday night because COVID issues.
Both teams battled COVID trouble in the past couple weeks, and neither team had their full rosters available Monday night. Just Saturday, Memorial got 17 players back, most on the defensive side of the ball, from a two-week quarantine.
Both teams practiced Sunday while Memorial also practiced Saturday to try and get repetitions in to prepare for its opener.
“At one point last week, we only had about 20 players at practice,” Edmond Memorial coach Luke Orvis said. “We could hardly do anything, but we were able to get everyone back and have enough kids to play tonight.”
The schedules won’t get any easier. Memorial (0-4, 0-1) has three days of preparation before hosting Norman on Friday. Santa Fe gets an extra day before playing an afternoon matchup at Westmoore on Saturday, which needed to delay the game a day because it was missing nearly 50 players because of COVID issues.
Edlam was a prime example of how football scheduling is ever changing in the coronavirus landscape. Players, coaches and administrators have to be flexible and willing to adapt and play.
Instead of sitting at home and watching Monday Night Football on television, fans in Edmond were treated to live high school football. It’s an occurrence that will happen again throughout this tumultuous season.
“Our kids adapted to the changing schedule and prepared,” White said. “They’ve handled the adversity. Now they have another challenge with the shorter week ahead.”