NOBLE — Before taking the field Friday night, the Plainview Indians ran through their traditional tear away banner which was held up and displayed by the Plainview varsity cheer squad.
NOBLE — Before taking the field Friday night, the Plainview Indians ran through their traditional tear away banner which was held up and displayed by the Plainview varsity cheer squad. Written on this banner were the words: “Caution, dangerous players ahead.” The banner turned out to be more true than anyone could have imagined. Plainview racked up 21 first quarter points and never looked back as the Indians steamrolled the Verdigris Cardinals 55-13 at Noble High School, earning them their second trip to the state finals in the last four years . Next is the state championship game at 11 a.m. Saturday at Wantland Stadium on the campus of Central Oklahoma University in Edmond, where the Indians will face off against No. 2 Lincoln Christian, the same team which knocked them out last year in the quarterfinals. As for Friday night though, there wasn’t much stopping the Indians, despite a constant drizzle and near freezing temperatures. “Verdigris was a very complete football team and was very good, no mistake about it,” Plainview coach Joe Price said. “These kids had a great week of preparation and practiced hard but very smart. I can’t say enough about how proud I am of these guys. We’ve gotten better each week of the playoffs, and all of us are playing well right now.” “The way we’re flying around on defense is awesome right now,” Price added. “Offensively we’re getting up and down the field, and getting the ball to all of our guys. We spread the ball and get as many guys as we can involved, and then on defense we’re just playing very well right now. This is all about the kids, because they have worked so hard all year long. They deserve to be here because of the amount of work they have put in, and this senior bunch is a very special group of kids.” On the opening kickoff, Verdigris booted the ball out of bounds. Instead of taking the field position, Plainview decided to gamble and chose to have the Cardinals re-kick the ball. It paid off immensely. Jaxon Clemons caught the ball and eventually scampered his way 75 yards for the touchdown, giving the Indians a 7-0 lead after the extra point from Kenny Sutherlin, just 11 seconds into the first quarter. The kickoff return for a touchdown was the second week in a row Clemons had taken the opening kickoff the distance for points as he did it in the quarterfinals against Checotah. “I didn’t see the hole at first when I started running,” Clemons said about his kickoff. “But after some good blocking out there by my teammates, it started opening up and I saw it, and was able to take advantage. It’s all about trusting my guys and knowing they are going to get the blocks we need. This is the best feeling I’ve ever had right now.” Verdigris attempted to respond with a minimally sustained drive on its first possession, but eventually had to punt, with the ball landing at the Indians 40-yard line. Enter Tyson Al-Jbour. Al-Jbour needed just one play to race his way 60 yards for a touchdown, giving the Indians a 14-0 advantage with 4:43 remaining in the first quarter. On the Cardinals next drive, it was a familiar face playing an unfamiliar role as Blake Nowell came up with an interception to give Plainview great field position inside Cardinals territory. Five plays later, Indians quarterback Brock Parham scrambled out of the pocket and eventually scrambled his way into the end zone for a 15 yard touchdown to make it 21-0. After the Indians defense forced yet another Cardinals punt, Plainview’s offense struck gold once again. Eight plays were all that was needed as Parham got his second touchdown of the night, this time from five yards out to make it 28-0, less than four minutes into the second quarter. Both teams would trade punts after that, before the Indians Payton Webber got an interception, which led to the fifth touchdown of the first half for Plainview. Parham connected with Nowell for a 23-yard touchdown pass, this coming moments after Al-Jbour’s 30 yard touchdown run was wiped off the board due to a holding penalty. Plainview led 35-0 going into the halftime break. But less than three minutes into the second quarter, Al-Jbour would get his second score of the night as he pushed his way in from five yards out to make it 42-0. Al-Jbour led the Indians with 12 carries for 116 yards on the evening with two touchdowns. Verdigris found life in its offense at the 7:52 mark of the third as Sloan Roller got in for the touchdown from five yards out to make it 42-7. However, Parham wasn’t about to let a rally take shape for the Cardinals. Plainview’s senior quarterback effectively finished off Verdigris with his third rushing touchdown of the evening, this time from 43 yards out to make it 48-7 with 4:57 left in the third quarter. “This is something we’ve all been dreaming about since we were little,” Parham said. “A lot of things come down to preparation, working with my linemen and receivers. I saw a lot of space out there at times and I just had to take advantage of it and make a play. We have so many weapons all over the field. To be able to play alongside those guys and a great line, it’s a lot of fun for me as a quarterback.” Blue Norman finished off the scoring for the Indians when he broke free for a 31-yard touchdown run. Verdigris got one more score late in the game when Dylan White found Toby Willis for a 17 yard touchdown.