East Texans Put On A Show in Red River Rivalry - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

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East Texans Put On A Show in Red River Rivalry

They changed the name of the Texas-OU game to the Red River Rivalry. Something that sounded a little less hostile than the Red River Shootout.

But Saturday's matchup proved it will always be the Red River Shootout, because the game was just that: a shootout.

Touchdown for touchdown, number one versus number five, Texas and Oklahoma matched on another.

 As always, East Texans were at the heart of the action.

"This game right here, it was just big because it's here (at the Cotton Bowl)," Longhorn linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy of Hallsville said. "I mean the atmosphere is great. Two teams colliding and wanting to win."

The crowd of 92,182, the two top ten rankings and the 80 points put on the board made the 2008 Texas-Oklahoma game bigger and better than ever.

"Credit to them," Sooner head coach Bob Stoops said of Texas. "We weren't good enough. They were and made the plays in the second half to win it."

"This team has shown a lot of fight," Longhorn head coach Mack Brown said. "They've shown the ability to be able to continue to come back time and time again."

The Longhorn defense clamped down on the Sooners and it was Hallsville's Roddrick Muckelroy applying the pressure. Muckelroy had 9.5 tackles in three quarters.

"I'm still excited from the game," Muckelroy said. "I'm still trying to calm down. It was just a great game to be in, the fans and everything."

Roddrick missed most of the 2006 season after having surgery on his hand. He says that long recovery time helped to inspire his monster performance.

"I just had to wait my time with the injuries," he said. "Some things happened for me to be able to come out and play today, I just thank the Lord. Without Him, none of this would be possible."

Despite coming up short to Texas, Gilmer's Manuel Johnson had another standout performance, three touchdowns and 85 yards. The former Buckeye was aiming for his second career win over Texas. Now a senior, Manuel's focus is on continuing a national title bid with the Sooners.

"We've got the rest of the Big 12 left," Manuel said. "I think my sophomore season we lost this game and went on to win the Big 12 Championship. So it's not over by far."

Palestine's John Gold had four punts for 186 yards. Longview's Vondrell McGee saw limited play in the third quarter. For another year, East Texans put on a show. Something players say their community's can be proud of... Longhorn or Sooner.

"It's a lot of East Texas kids out there," Roddrick Muckelroy said of the Red River Rivalry. "We really didn't talk in high school but we know each other now. You look on the (roster) and know we're all from East Texas, 903 area code.That's where we're all from."

"For us to be representing the Big XII and making big plays it's just exciting."

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