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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Foxes back after first-round close call

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  • Despite a mild wake-up call last week against Merritt in the first round of the playoffs, Fox is hoping to put everything together again when Keota arrives for their quarterfinal matchup.
    Fox (11-0), ranked No. 3 in Class B, needed a defensive stop on the game's last play to secure its 28-22 win over Merrit. William Lovely made a game-saving tackle of the Merritt ball carrier at the Fox 5-yard line as time ran out to seal the Fox win and give them another home playoff game this week.
    Keota (9-2), ranked No. 5 in Class B, brings a solid team to the Den, according to Fox coach Brent Phelps. Their only two losses were to No. 6 Davenport in week 2 and to No. 2 Wetumka in week 10.
    "Keota's size is what sets them apart," Phelps said. "They are big and they have good speed at all the positions. They outsize us by quite a bit. They are a ball-control team, and their goal is to line up and run right at you play after play. So we have to find a way to slow them down."
    Phelps was not pleased with his Foxes' performance last week against the Oilers. And he knows that they must do better this week in order to get by the Lions.
    "We had too many turnovers, and we missed a lot of blocking assignments," Phelps said. "We do not need any carry over from that game. Our pass rush was not effective, and we looked more like we did in week 3 than we should have in week 11.
    "We plan on doing the same things we have done all season, but we have to do them better against Keota. We have to counter their size with some quickness on our part. It all comes down to blocking and tackling. Whoever does those two things the best will win the game. Hopefully that will be us."
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