A lot of pressure was placed on the Plainview football team Friday night with homecoming ceremonies and the inauguration of its state-of-the art home stands and press box. And the Indians did not disappoint as they rolled past the Elgin Owls 50-7.
The home side was packed (2,000 plus), and the Plainview fans enjoyed their first game in the beautiful stadium upgrade. The Indians (2-0), ranked No. 8 in Class 3A, ran into few problems handling the Class 4A Owls. Plainview quarterback Taber Jordan had a banner night with 15 carries for 144 yards and a touchdown and a 12-for-18 passing night for 172 yards and three scores.
The Plainview defense shut down the Elgin defense and held the Owls to just 223 offensive yards. Elgin managed but 116 rushing yards for the game with 50 of those coming on its only touchdown when quarterback Jonathan Christensen scored with just 1:35 left in the game.
"This was a very good defensive effort for us," Plainview coach Chris Berus said. "When you go up against a spread attack like Elgin, there are always seams in the running game that allow for quick openers. But our kids did a great job of staying in their gaps and defending well.
"It took the players a couple of offensive series to get our timing down, but once they got a feel for how things needed to run, they did a good job of controlling the pace of the game."
Jordan hit Gage Kennedy with a 3-yard touchdown pass on the Indians' first possession. That 7-0 score stood until early in the second when kicker Trey Tully nailed a 45-yard field goal to put the Indians up 10-0.
"That field goal by Trey was big for us," Berus said. "I felt like it gave us some added momentum even though we could not punch it in for six. To go up two scores against a good football team is huge. That kick would have been good from 55 yards out."
Plainview's Steven Roberts intercepted a pass by Christensen at the Indians' 31-yard line later in the second quarter. It took Plainview just two plays to find the end zone, with Jordan hitting Vinny Martinez for a 42-yard scoring play that made it a 17-0 game.
With the Plainview offense now running on all cylinders, the Indians put two touchdowns on the board in the final two minutes of the half. Following an Owl punt, Plainview started from its own 25-yard line. But Jordan broke free on the first play from scrimmage and outran the Elgin defenders for a 75-yard score.
The Indian defense continued to gain momentum as the half closed. A three-and-out by the Owls gave Plainview the ball at its own 41-yard line with just over a minute left before intermission. Jordan went to the air five times, the last one a 21-yard scoring toss to Austin Carrera for a score to increase the Indian advantage to 30-0 at the half.
"We had over 300 yards rushing, and Taber had a solid night passing the football," Berus said. "That says a lot about our guys up front. They did a great job blocking, and our skilled people did a good job blocking on the edge."
Carrera scored twice on the ground in the third on touchdown runs of 5 and 10 yards, finishing with 68 yards on nine carries for the Indians. Following Christensen's touchdown for the Owls, Plainview backup quarterback Kelton Kelch engineered a drive that ended with Kelch scoring on a 1-yard keeper midway through the fourth.
The Indians hit the road Friday for a 130-mile trip to Valliant.