LONE GROVE — If there was ever such a thing as winning ugly, the No. 3 Plainview Indians made sure it was done in style Friday night.
LONE GROVE — If there was ever such a thing as winning ugly, the No. 3 Plainview Indians made sure it was done in style Friday night. Despite dealing with temperatures in the 40’s along with a constant drizzle, the Indians were able to shake off a slow first half performance and eventually claim a 26-6 victory over Lone Grove, moving them to 6-1 overall and 5-0 in district play. Plainview just needs one more victory to claim the District 3A-2 championship, which they can clinch on Friday with a win against Pauls Valley. As for the Longhorns, they will need a victory over Purcell Friday night to keep their postseason hopes alive. "We got a good drive early that gave us the lead, and that was important with field conditions as they were," Plainview coach Joe Price said. "It was a slick surface and the game turned out to be a physical match-up between offensive and defensive lines. We both had turnovers because the ball would squirt out from the moisture." Lone Grove (5-3, 2-3), came to play, and were it not for critical errors on their part, the game could have been much closer. After stopping the Indians on their first possession the Longhorns drove 78 yards on 13 plays and used six minutes to grab an early lead. Quarterback Colton Jones hit Malik Brown with a pass that covered 32 yards for a touchdown and an early 6-0 Lone Grove lead. An earlier 29-yard completion by Jones to Brown helped set up the score. The game turned in to a game of inches and opposing line play. Footing was not there for outside running plays, and most pass plays were off the mark due to wet footballs and bad field conditions. Despite all of this, Plainview was able to take the lead late in the second quarter. Eleven straight running plays up the middle that covered 59 yards resulted in a touchdown by Indians quarterback Brock Parham. Parham's 5-yard scoring run and Kenny Sutherlin's PAT gave Plainview a 7-6 halftime lead. By halftime Lone Grove led Plainview 119-100 in total yards. By game's end the Indians had a 188-130 advantage. The Plainview defense limited the Longhorns to 11 net offensive yards in the second half. Early in the third quarter a holding call on Lone Grove and a shanked punt gave Plainview the ball at the Longhorn 10-yard line. On a fourth and five play Tyson Al-Jbour took the ball over right tackle for a score and a 13-6 Indians lead. "It was a messy night, but you have to go play just like the other team has to go play," Lone Grove coach Brad O'Steen said. "On a night like we had you need to limit your mistakes and create mistakes. We stayed close through the first half. But we had some things hurt us in the second half. They had a short field because we spend so much time trying to dig out of our end of the field. "Play-calling was affected by the weather, and that limited what we could do," O'Steen added. "I was proud of the way our kids played given the circumstances. You just cannot give good field position to the third ranked team and be successful. We adapted as best we could to the weather, and in the long run I believe it will help us continue to get better as a team." The 13-6 score held until early in the fourth, before a bad snap by the Longhorn center on a fourth down punt attempt resulted in a 30-yard loss and gave Plainview the ball at the Lone Grove 30-yard line. A pass interference on the Longhorns moved the ball to the 16-yard line. Four plays later Parham followed his blocking up the middle for a 3-yard scoring run that upped the Indian lead to 19-6. With the clock under eight minutes, Lone Grove went for it on fourth down. The Plainview defense smothered the play, and the Indians had another short field-this time starting at the Longhorn 35-yard line. Still moving primarily up the middle, the Indians went up 26-6 when Al-Jbour scored on a 21-yard run for the game's final points. Al-Jbour led both teams in rushing with 65 yards on 11 carries. Parham added 15 carries for 57 yards for the Indians. Jones had 49 rushing yards on 20 carries and 61 passing yards to lead the Longhorns. "This was a tough game against a team that played us very hard," Price said. "They are still young, but they will have a very good team a bit later on. Their field crew did a good job to have conditions as well as we had them. I was proud of our defense that kept them off the scoreboard after their first quarter touchdown. We took advantage of some breaks and got the win."