“In retrospect it was all on us, the players. Not the coaches who had an excellent game plan, but totally on us, those 16-17-18-year olds who thought we were unbeatable,” Babb said.
“We were angry, I think Jeremiah (300-pounder Jeremiah Adams) threw his helmet through the chalkboard we carried with us to drew up plays ... so angry we declined to stop for an after game meal on the way back ... too sick to eat.”
“It was The Perfect Storm really, we had not lost since the 7th or 8th grade, we had beaten two top-ranked 5A schools. We lost to Durant, but it set the tone for the rest of the season
“When we (teammates, coaches) are together, we never talk about that game, it was like it never happened. We focused our anger on the gold ball at the end of the rainbow, I guess, we were never really challenged the rest of the season, until the championship game (21-14 over McAlester),” Babb said.
Steve Dean, former Cougar who later coached his alma mater (assistant 1998-2003, head coach 2004-2007) said, “The loss so fired them up they pretty much steam-rolled everyone the rest of the year.”
“We were probably a bit complacent. We just let one get away,” Dean said.
Indeed it was The Perfect Storm of sorts. Overconfidence. The officials showed up last and delayed the game. It rained through pre-game. That, combined with career game nights by QB Stone Scoggin and wideout C.J. Bacu, ended the winning streak at 42.
That night it was pretty quiet going out of town on the charter, the yellow dawg, the equipment van, the coaches van.
Dean was on the coaches van along with Teel, Johnson. Coach Craig and a sports information fellow, namely this writer.
Silence. More silence.
The van pulled up to a stop light. Pulling next to them was a large, blustering pickup with a long cattle trailer behind, the open trailer style with large rails. The only occupant was a small beagle-type dog.
“That must be a mean little son-of-a-gun,” Teel observed, breaking the ice just a bit.
It is still the state record, that 42 straight.
Each of the four state title teams named their seasons.
1993: Sweet 16.
1994: One More in 94.
1995: Keep It Alive In 95.