LONE GROVE — In the immediate aftermath of Friday's game against Plainview, Lone Grove coach Kenny Ridley stood, briefly alone, at midfield.
He took one glance at the scoreboard, then looked down and summed up his thoughts with a simple proverb.
"Speed kills," Ridley said. "And they have a lot of speed."
And so it was on Friday night, as the Indians of Plainview continued to romp through district competition, pasting the rival Longhorns 42-0, even without the services of head coach Chris Berus, who kept himself out of action as part of a self-imposed suspension for use of an ineligible player in a win over Pauls Valley on Oct. 26.
Even in his absence, there seemed to be nothing that could stop the Plainview machine. It was the fourth consecutive game that the Indians (8-2, 6-1 District 3A-4) have scored 40 points or more and Plainview's sixth consecutive win.
"Nothing changed from our perspective," offensive coordinator Ryan Luhmann said. "It was still going to come down to execution and even though we didn't have our best game on that front, we still did pretty well."
It was actually a more lopsided game than the score indicated, as Plainview led 35-0 at halftime and kept the starters in long enough for one third quarter touchdown before ceding the game to backups.
Junior quarterback Taber Jordan once again showed masterful touch of the Indian offense, throwing all three of his touchdown passes in the first half as part of a 8-for-13 day with 121 yards.
Jordan also led all rushers with 91 yards on 10 carries, including a magnificent 63-yard run on the second play from scrimmage that set an early tone of dominance for Plainview, one that has been the norm during the stretch run of this season for an Indians squad that is playing some of the best football in the entire 3A class.
"We're still having to work on executing and planning during the week," Jordan said. "But I think it's just a rhythm thing and we're really comfortable with everything right now."
But perhaps the real story of the night was the rock-solid Plainview defense. A unit that surrendered 59 points to Madill and Paten Bond in at the end of September was absolutely stifling against Lone Grove (5-5, 4-3), holding the Longhorns to 110 total yards and keeping quarterback Jaz Long contained all night long. It was the second shutout Plainview has authored in three weeks.
Lone Grove had one drive where the team crossed midfield, in the third quarter, which was promptly ended when Austin Carrera intercepted Long's pass at the Plainview 20 and returned it 50 yards to set up the Indians' final score.
"We spent a lot of time working on defense this week and it paid off," Jordan said.
Plainview will now take on Newcastle (4-6) at home as the No. 2 seed in 3A-4, while Lone Grove travels to face undefeated Kingfisher.
"We have to bounce back and play much better than this," Ridley said. "Or it's going to be basketball season."