LONE GROVE — A senior who scored three touchdowns, Eli Paul described Plainview's offensive line as "phenomenal." He scored three rushing touchdowns — from 1, 4 and 10 yards — all straight up the middle.
Though Daren Benham missed the game due to injury, Plainview's showing in the trenches buttressed another aspect in which the Indians dominated, turning the Five-Mile Feud into a lopsided contest.
The visitors won the turnover battle 6-2, with three in each half. Their three second-half takeaways led directly to scores as Plainview, with a 62-6 triumph, denied Lone Grove's bid to win a third consecutive game in this series.
Plainview (4-1, 1-0 District 3A-4) coach Joe Price said he switched the left guard and left tackle. Freshman Eli Russ, Benham’s “backup all year, he stepped in and did a good job,” Price said.
Paul rushed for a game-high 135 yards on 17 carries. He credited his linemen.
“Lone Grove was bringing the heat and they were able to adjust on the spot,” Paul said. “They were able to create holes. Because of them, I had a lot of success. All props to them.”
Asked about the linemen’s adjustments, Paul said this: “Just great leadership out of (senior center) Bracken (Campbell) and (senior) Jon (Wright). We had a freshman step up and he did a great job. It’s just the leadership, being able to point out what’s going on.”
Lone Grove (0-4, 0-1) quarterback Montana Stafford made his first career start. On the opening drive, he completed a vertical pass to Ethan Moore.
On a 4th & 15 play from the Indians’ 15-yard line, Plainview defensive back Spencer Somerville intercepted Stafford’s pass.
“They started driving on us a little bit,” Hudson said. “We came back and played our coverages like we were supposed to and started playing defense like we should.”
On the subsequent possession, Stafford threw his second interception, this one picked by Brewster at the Longhorns’ 30-yard line with 5:02 remaining in the opening quarter. Three plays later, Paul rushed for his first touchdown.
On a second-quarter drive where Lone Grove senior Marshall Zabonik had a 31-yard rush on a 3rd & 21, he also fumbled with 8:19 to play. The Longhorns’ defense forced a punt.
Lone Grove senior cornerback Shon Anderson intercepted two of Brewster’s first-half passes, the latter of which occurred with 1:05 to play and thwarted a Plainview drive.
In the second half, Hudson and Deere returned interceptions for touchdowns: Jermaine Scallion tipped the latter pass, allowing his teammate a chance to make a play. Freshman Jake Guerin returned a fumble for a score as time expired.
(Hudson also had a one-handed 41-yard reception in the second quarter.)
“It’s a great feeling, just making big plays like that for my team and getting a big win like we did here today,” Hudson said.
Said Price, “It feels good to get back on the winning side of things. (It’s) obviously a big rivalry game, so you always feel good when you win one of those.”
Lone Grove coach Trey Owens expressed pride in his team.
“I feel like we did a lot of good things,” he said. “We shot ourselves in the foot way too many times and when you do that with a team that has athletes like these guys (Plainview) do, it’s obviously going to show up big time.
“The way we played, I’m proud of them. I feel better about it than really the first three games we played. I think we’re making some improvements in some spots. I’m ready to keep going.”
Paul and his fellow seniors won this game for the first time since they were freshmen. According to www.iwasatthegame.com, Plainview improves to 12-5 against Lone Grove.
Paul's three touchdowns give him eight thus far this season.
“I’m just very excited that we got to get a little revenge after the last two years,” Paul said. “As a senior, I’m excited to go out with a bang.”