Offense scores 6 touchdowns, Red Team takes spring game

Apr. 20—It had been a long time coming, so when Chapman McKown finally got his chance to touch the ball on Owen Field he was going to make the most of it.

Heading into Oklahoma's final drive of its annual spring game, the redshirt freshman was standing on the sideline when he was approached by Emmett Jones, the Red Team's head coach. Jones said they were giving him the ball and they wanted him to win the game.

"I was just like 'You can trust me" McKown said. "I saw the outside, the D-end got pinched in and I figured I could bounce it outside and beat 'em with my speed and that's what I did."

Showing off his vision and athleticism, the former Norman North running back turned the corner on a 12-yard run and dove into the endzone for the final play of the Sooners' spring camp. When he turned around, half of the team had cleared the benches and surrounded him in the endzone.

"It was definitely special," McKown said. "I've been around a lot of teams on my life, never any teams that are this close. Every single one of them is very special to me, I love those guys."

McKown had friends and family from all across the state in attendance at Gaylord Family — Oklahoma Memorial Stadium to watch him compete for the first time since having MPFL reconstruction surgery.

He had a surgery in the fall, just a day before the Sooners' season opener against Arkansas State and then again this spring. The road to getting back on the field was tough, but made that moment in the south endzone all the more special.

"It wasn't really about me," McKown said about the celebration."it was just celebrating as a team and really about a successful spring. Taking it all in was special to me."

The Red Team, which was represented by the Sooners' offense, pulled out a 65-58 win over the White Team, which was represented by the defense.

Early on, the Red Team appeared to have the upper hand, scoring on their first three possessions of the game and taking a 28-6 lead after the first quarter. Their first score came on a 64-yard deep ball from Jackson Arnold to transfer wide receiver Deion Burks.

The Purdue transfer stole the show in his first showing with his team.

"He's been fantastic," Venables said. "Great playmaker. He's got tremendous speed and quickness. He's got great hands. .... He's really done a great job of learning what to do and transitioning that within our system."

Midway through the second quarter, Burks found himself wide open up the middle of the field and scored on a 50-yard pass also from Arnold. Burks caught six passes in the first half for 187 yards and two touchdowns.

"He's one of the fastest kids I've thrown to," Arnold said. "He knows how to get open — great route runner. He showed that ability today and I'm proud of him."

Arnold started the spring game at quarterback, but split time with freshman Michael Hawkins Jr.

The former four-star prospect was four of eight through the air for 34 yards, but showed flashes of his potential, particularly as a runner. The Sooners had 11 full drives in the first half and scored touchdowns on four of them.

Arnold was behind center on three of those touchdown drives, while Hawkins accounted for one of them. He completed 11 of 21 passes for 245 yards and no interceptions in the first half and didn't play after halftime.

Four of the Sooners' scores came on the ground.

Kalib Hicks took a handoff up the middle and barreled through the line of scrimmage on his way to a 30-yard touchdown run.

The White Team started to get an edge midway through the second quarter and it continued into the second half. They had five sacks in the first half including two by Davon Sears.

Freshman David Stone had a quarterback hurry and a sack.

"We're miles ahead of where we were," Danny Stutsman said. "Obviously, Coach (Zac) Alley has done a phenomenal job; he's getting us there. Coach Venables as well. That's what you want to see in Year 3 now. I think we have all the pieces that we need."

David Booty found a lane up the middle of the field for a 32-yard quarterback keeper early in the second half, but the Red Team wouldn't score again the closing minutes of regulation.

The official attendance for Saturday's spring game was 45,861.

Tarik Masri is the sports editor for The Transcript covering OU athletics and area sports. You can reach him by emailing