Indians roll through Newcastle, Seminole next

Even when it wasn't at its best, Plainview showed that the team who beats it will have to be.

Taber Jordan ran for three touchdowns and the Plainview offense once again put on a dazzling display, knocking out Newcastle 53-27 in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs Friday.

"When you win a playoff game, you're always going to be excited," Berus said. "They've played great opponents all year long and they were doing some things that may have forced us out of our comfort zone."

Plainview struggled to control the line of scrimmage offensively, finding little room between the tackles. But it didn't matter, as the coaching staff adjusted its playcalls to the option game, giving Jordan the opportunity to pick apart the Newcastle defense with his decision making.

It paid off, as Jordan ran for 191 yards, including a run of 65 yards that set up the Indians first score of the game on a James Bowker 1-yard run.

"We definitely had some guys step up and do a great job blocking," Jordan said.

Bowker would exit the game in the first half with a hamstring injury, but it isn't believed to be serious enough to keep him off the field.

"I was running around the corner and it just popped," Bowker said. "I'll be fine for next week, though."

With Bowker out, it gave sophomore Jordan Ricketts the chance to shine. The young man didn't disappoint, scoring two touchdowns, one in the second quarter and one to open the third, that gave Plainview a 46-0 lead.

"The kids went out there and got it done," Berus said. "They've got to get it figured out between the lines and they did."

But the big story, once again, was the play of junior quarterback Jordan. In a game where the passing game struggled to take off (Jordan finished just 9-of-15 for 97 yards), he showed a craftsman's touch in the option game, setting up Austin Carrera and the other backs on the outside as well as himself.

"His position is so high-profile that you're going to see the good and bad with him," Berus said. "His ability to make the right reads, the right choices, have shown that he's been one of the biggest parts of our team improvement."

The team entered a sort of lull after starters were pulled in the third quarter. Newcastle scored twice in the final five minutes of the third, and another time to start the fourth that closed the gap to 46-20.

"Those last four minutes of the third quarter were kind of a down moment," senior Chase Brooks said.

No problem for Plainview, who simply brought Jordan back in to lead the offense once again on a march down the field that culminated in his third score of the game, a thrilling 48-yard touchdown run that quelled any slim hopes of a miracle comeback.

Plainview now turns its attention to Seminole, who pasted Marlow 59-7 in its first-round matchup. The Indians will travel to take on the undefeated Chieftains this Friday.

"They're going to be big up front and they have a dual-headed monster at running back," Berus said. "It's a game that will be a big measure of our program and you want to play games like that.

"I know our boys will be ready to bring it."

Spencer White