The 1985 Class A state championship trophy sits on an elevated shelf in the Fox locker room. It looms above the players as a golden reminder.

The 1985 Class A state championship trophy sits on an elevated shelf in the Fox locker room. It looms above the players as a golden reminder.

Twenty-five years on, it would only be proper if Fox were to beat Dewar tonight.

The Foxes smashed the Dragons 34-0 en route to an undefeated season in 1985, the last time Fox won the state football title.

The Foxes were the heavy favorites in that game, having outscored their opponents 665-28 entering the final. Tonight, Dewar is the giant, ranked No. 1 in Class B and 11-0.

That suits Fox coach Brent Phelps just fine. The Foxes are riding an eight-game winning streak, including a 66-44 win over Pond Creek-Hunter last week in which Phelps said the Foxes were disrespected coming in.

While 1985 was for favorites, 2010 is the year of the underdog, the underestimated, for Fox.

“Not many people have given us respect, but people can say all they want,” Phelps said Wednesday. “We’ve faced several issues with a lack of respect. Nobody thought we could beat Pond Creek-Hunter. The kids look at it as a challenge.”

Since beginning the season 1-2, Fox has been on a offensive tear that conjures up memories of the 1985 squad. The Foxes scored a modest 28 points in week 4, but have averaged 61 points per game since. The Fox firepower has come from a variety of players, led by a loaded junior class.

In last week’s demolition of Pond Creek-Hunter, all but one touchdown was scored by a junior. Tailback Chris Spigner accounted for a team-best five touchdowns and 165 yards rushing.

It was one of several superb efforts from Spigner this season. It was also the last in front of his father, Wayne, who was a tight end/defensive end on the 1985 championship team.

The day following the Foxes’ win last week, Wayne, 42, passed away due to cardiac arrest. An ever-present figure on the sidelines, Wayne will be honored with Fox players wearing No. 82 stickers on their helmets. Chris’ sister, Katy, is a team trainer.

Chris will switch from his usual No. 1 to his father’s 82 for tonight’s game.

“It’s brought us together more,” said junior quarterback Dillon Langley. “We’re gonna try to support Chris and give everything he’s got in memory of his dad.”

Wayne’s half-brother and Chris’ uncle, Kenny Spigner, is the Foxes’ defensive coordinator. Heavy hearts or not, Kenny knew the odds were stacked against the Foxes entering tonight’s game. But he’s also seen change since Fox’s 30-22 loss to Davenport in week 3.

Dewar beat Davenport 41-14 in week 1. The Dragons trot out an offense that Phelps said is similar to Foxes — predominantly run-based, with short passes to keep the defense honest.

“Seeing their scores from week in and week out, I know we have a tough task in trying to stop them,” Kenny Spigner said. “But from the last loss to now this is a different team. We’re way more aggressive since then.”

Fox is hoping it can spark up the aggression of that storied defense from 25 years ago. Nicknamed “The Equalizers” by then coach Milton Cooper, the ’85 defense shut out 10 of its 14 opponents. No team scored more than six points on Fox that year.

It’s a different team now, but the same goal remains with others sprinkled in. Stop Dewar. Advance. Bring back that championship feel.

And honor the greats who came before. In the Dec. 1, 1985 edition of The Daily Ardmoreite, No. 82 is shown in full spread, diving to block an extra-point attempt. Wayne Spigner is flying in the photo, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound equalizer.

“There’s nothing good you can say that comes out of it,” Phelps said of Wayne’s passing. “But Chris has been focused.

“His dad loved seeing him play.”

Erik K. Horne