As everyone in the stadium held their breath, Talyn Shettron ripped the ball and the game away from Union.
The interception, Shettron’s second of the fourth quarter, sealed the Edmond Santa Fe football team’s 21-14 state semifinal win against Union at Owasso on Saturday night.
This was the fifth meeting between Santa Fe and Union, all coming in the playoffs. This was the Wolves’ first win, and it sends Santa Fe to its second state championship game, its first since 2003.
Santa Fe (10-2) intercepted four Union passes, two in the first quarter and two in the fourth. Shettron, a junior Oklahoma commit, made both fourth quarter picks.
Union (6-5) held Santa Fe scoreless after the Wolves raced to a 21-0 lead, but the Santa Fe defense did enough to prevent Union from completing the comeback.
Santa Fe made the bold decision to go for it on 4th and 1 from its own 29 to seal the game, but the Union defense penetrated the offensive line and stopped the play. With great field position, Union seemed destined to tie the game, but Shettron made the play of the season.
“I saw another slant, and I (knew) I could undercut it,” Shettron said. “He caught it, but I just took it away from him. I tried to go score, but I just had to get down to end the game.”
Santa Fe intercepted deep passes on Union’s first two drives. Senior Gavin Duverger made the first pick, and senior Angelo Rankin made the second.
Junior quarterback Scott Pfieffer threw touchdown passes to Rankin on both resulting drives. Rankin added a 2-point conversion on the second.
Pfieffer threw a third touchdown pass to junior Tabry Shettron on the first play of the second quarter, but the Union defense did not allow the Wolves to score again.
With all the pressure on the Santa Fe defense, the Wolves made enough big plays to keep the lead intact.
Coach Kyle White said he gives the defense an A-plus.
“They played their tails off,” White said. “They played really good for four-straight quarters, and they bailed us out. They forced turnovers and created turnovers and gave us opportunities… Defensively, those coaches and those kids played their tails off, and they did a great job.”
Junior Rovaughn Banks scored for Union on the final play of the first half to break the shutout. Senior running back AJ Green scored a fourth-quarter touchdown to give Union a chance, but Union could not finish the comeback.
Santa Fe will face district rival Jenks in the 6A-I championship game at Central Oklahoma’s Wantland Stadium in Edmond next Saturday. The regular season meeting between the Wolves and Trojans was canceled due to COVID-19 issues, and both schools finished undefeated in district play. Santa Fe won the district title due to having played one more game than Jenks, but now the two will finally get their matchup.
Rankin said the Wolves are ready.
“We wanted to play them so bad,” Rankin said. “We prepared for them (well), so I feel like we’re ready. That’s all I got to say.”