LONE GROVE — Lone Grove offensive lineman Lyle Graves has done his best not to try get caught up in the hype surrounding a potential historic moment tonight in the 44-year history of Longhorns football.
In each of the last three seasons, Lone Grove has placed a check mark to all of the firsts the Longhorns have accomplished in school history.
In 2013, Lone Grove hosted its first home playoff game. Last year, the Longhorns won their first district title and first-round postseason game.
With a win tonight over visiting Meeker at Longhorn Field, the Longhorns would become the first Lone Grove team to win two playoff games in the same year.
Graves has approached this week with a business-like mentality.
“I felt like that we have thought about, another playoff win,” he said. “It would be the first time in school history. But we’re not worried about that. We’re just worried about trying to make it through another round and see how far we can go.”
Lone Grove senior running back Jeremy Lewis is a little more fired up.
“It would be great,” he said. “I’m getting butterflies thinking about it.”
Lewis and Co. will look to keep rolling on offense.
Lone Grove’s offense had its way with Pauls Valley last week, totaling 618 yards of offense.
Lewis had another big night running the ball, gaining 297 yards with five touchdowns.
Senior Adnois McGee had a banner night, tallying a school-record 229 receiving yards with two touchdowns. He had a great connection with senior quarterback Grant Harmon who threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns.
“We threw one pass down the field,” Lone Grove coach Jeremy Turner said. “Everything else was short passes, high-percentage passes, and Adonis got them. His yards after catch were phenomenal.
Turner also praised the leadership and attention to detail displayed by his quarterback.
“Grant Harmon has turned into one of the best high school quarterbacks that I have been around. His ability to execute and read defenses is outstanding. It’s like we’re on the same wavelength whenever I call a play.”
Lewis praised the offensive line for their ability to open running lanes — all but one of whom didn’t have any previous varsity experience prior to 2015.
“They don’t play like underclassmen anymore,” Lewis said. “They’re playing like seniors.”
Tonight, Lone Grove (9-2) will be challenged defensively by Meeker’s three-three stack defense, which is the same base formation the Longhorns run.
Don’t forget about Lone Grove’s defense.
After all, it was an interception by Layne McLennahan at the Longhorns’ 27-yard line that got things rolling for the Longhorns against the Pauls Valley Panthers.
All week, Lone Grove has been told by the coaching staff to be aware of where Meeker six-foot, 185-pound running back Jake Standlee and six-foot, two-inch senior wide receiver Levi Bagwell are at all times.
“They’re really athletic in a few positions,” Turner said. “They have a few kids that could go up and run and put us in a tough spot. They have a big offensive line. If they mash up front like Sulphur did, it will give us trouble. They’re just big like Sulphur.”
But Lone Grove is trying to build a legacy.
Lewis understands the significance of what a win tonight would mean for Lone Grove — especially for its 17 seniors.
“We’ve played with each other since we were in the fifth grade,” he said. “It’s always been a dream. We’re just trying to turn it into a reality.”