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Oklahoma All-State Football 2020: Jenks’ Keith Riggs guided Trojans back to the top amidst constant uncertainty

Jenks has a 30-8 record under Keith Riggs and has made the state championship game in each of his three seasons as head coach. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]
Jenks has a 30-8 record under Keith Riggs and has made the state championship game in each of his three seasons as head coach. [Doug Hoke/The Oklahoman]

JENKS — When it comes to the 2020 football season, Keith Riggs hopes to never have a repeat of it again.

Sure, his Jenks football team won the Class 6A-I state title after coming up short in the championship game his first two seasons as head coach. Jenks was arguably the state’s best team at the end of the season, and it was the school’s first state title since 2015.

Success on the field is one thing. Dealing with the craziness of guiding a program through the middle of a pandemic is another.

“It’s an understatement to say the season was a challenge,” Riggs said. “It was something new for every coach out there, whether you had 30 years of experience or it was your first year as head coach.”

Even with the tumultuous season, Riggs was able to lead Jenks to an 11-1 record, finishing the season on a 10-game win streak and topping Edmond Santa Fe 41-14 in the Class 6A-I state title game at Wantland Stadium in Edmond.

Riggs is The Oklahoman’s 108th All-State football team’s Coach of the Year.

“It was a great feeling for those seniors to finally get over the top after those previous two years,” Riggs said.

Jenks has a 30-8 record under Riggs and has made the state championship game in each of his three seasons as head coach.

This year, the Trojans' only loss came in Week 1 against eventual Class 6A-II champion Bixby, falling 42-35. After that, Jenks won every game sans one, a 38-30 win against Broken Arrow to open district play, by at least four touchdowns.

Seniors Jayden Patrick, a first-team All-State selection at defensive back, and second-team running back Grant Lohr dominated on both sides of the ball. Senior quarterback Stephen Kittleman was pristine every game.

A big district matchup with Edmond Santa Fe was brewing for Week 7, but Jenks ran into COVID issues of its own. The Trojans had multiple coaches and players have to quarantine, and the game had to be canceled.

One could say it was just postponed because of their meeting in the state championship game just a month and a half later.

“You never knew who’s going to show up for practice, whether it was someone catching the virus or kids who sat next to someone in a classroom and were close contact quarantined for 14 days,” Riggs said. “Every day at practice, you were expecting somebody to be gone and just didn’t know who.

“The mental strain of the season was much more difficult than any physical aspect of it.”

The Wolves finished district play at 6-0 while Jenks was 5-0, so Santa Fe won its second straight district title.

Riggs said there was talk around town of whether the title was warranted because the top two teams didn’t play, but the players never mentioned it.

Come playoff time, Jenks continued dismantling teams. 51-19 against Moore. 63-16 against Norman North. Then came what some thought was a huge upset, topping top-ranked and defending champion Owasso 39-15 in the semifinals.

Yet for Jenks, it was expected. The Trojans were dominating down the stretch, and it showed against the Rams.

In the state championship game, Edmond Santa Fe returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. For the next 47 minutes and 48 seconds, Jenks was in control. Just as it had been all season.

“There’s adversity every season,” Riggs said. “Just all of the things that our team was able to overcome, all of the sacrifices that were made to stay healthy and stay on the field, they never let it affect their attitude or work ethic. It really showed in our playoff run.”

Reporter Cameron Jourdan covers high school sports across the Oklahoma City metro and state. Have a story idea for Cameron? He can be reached at or on Twitter at @Cam_Jourdan. Support Cameron’s work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at or by using the link at the top of this page.

Cameron Jourdan

Cameron Jourdan joined The Oklahoman in March 2019 to cover high school sports. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in May 2018. He had an internship with The Oklahoman and Stillwater News Press. During his time at OSU, Cameron served in a... Read more ›