It has often been said that experience is the best teacher.
It has often been said that experience is the best teacher. The No. 3 Plainview Indians are hoping their lessons from the past pay off in a big way Friday night. At 7 p.m. tonight at Noble High School, Plainview will try and earn a place in the Class 3A state title game, as they take on No. 5 Verdigris in the state semifinals. The winner of this contest will meet either Lincoln Christian or Heritage Hall in the state finals Dec. 7 at Wasteland Stadium on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. This is Plainview’s second trip to the state semifinals in the last four years, while this is the first time in school history Verdigris has made the final four in football. "Verdigris has a good-sized ball club all the way around," Plainview coach Joe Price said. "They have plenty of size and speed on both sides of the line, and their skilled players handle the ball well. Our players have performed very well both offensively and defensively over the last nine weeks. With the possibility of some bad weather moving in, it could come down to a battle in the trenches. But you never know about the Oklahoma weather. You have to be ready for anything." Plainview has defeated John Marshall 49-15 and Checotah 58-34 in their two playoff games. While Verdigris beat Idabel 41-6 and Perkins-Tryon 42-28 to reach this week's semifinals. Scoring and defense have not been issues for either team recently. The Cardinals are averaging 45 points a game and giving up just 17 points per game the last four weeks. Plainview is averaging 50 points per game while surrendering 17 points a game on defense. The Cardinals rely heavily on a freshman quarterback Dylan White. Verdigris has been putting up bigger numbers while passing than they have running the football. They had 337 passing yards and 456 yards of total offense against Perkins-Tryon and rolled up 204 passing yards and 150 rushing yards against Idabel. The Indians have been adjusting well to what their opponents give them. They had 157 passing yards and 273 rushing yards against John Marshall, and against Checotah they were heavy on the ground with 367 rushing yards to 113 passing yards. Senior Toby Willis has been White's main target for the Cardinals. Willis lines up at wide receiver on offense and in the defensive secondary on defense. White also sees time in the Verdigris defensive backfield. Senior Sloan Roller is another key target for the Cardinals. He holds down the tight end position on offense and is a defensive linebacker. "They try to put a lot of pressure on you in hopes of causing you to make a mistake," Price said. "Their offense has been moving the ball well, and on defense they have two good inside linebackers, and their defensive secondary can cover a lot of ground quickly. There is a good reason why they are here. They are a solid football team, and they will provide us with a big challenge." Senior Brock Parham has been strong as the Plainview quarterback all year. Jaxon Clemons and Tyson Al-J’bour have a lot of the offensive rushing yards-that is when Parham does not take off on his own. He has been quite successful when that happens. Senior Blake Nowell, a TCU commit, has been Parham's main target with the pass. "I like our chances, especially if it comes down to needing a field goal," Price said. "Kenny Sutherlin has been excellent all year kicking extra points and field goals. He is a huge asset for us.” “We have worked hard this week getting prepared for this game just as we have every other week,” Price added. “We want to continue to do what we do best. And we always want to be better than we were last week. I am pleased with our progress in all the key components that make up a good football team. Hopefully we will put our best effort into this one and make it to the finals again."