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Plainview hosts Pauls Valley in crucial matchup

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

The Plainview High School football team is starting to see momentum move in the right direction. The Indians have battled injuries all season, but quarterback Reis Taylor was back on the field last week, and his return couldn’t have come at a better time.

Plainview needs a win against Pauls Valley at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6 in order to clinch a home game in the “play-in round” of the state playoffs.

“It would be a good deal to host a home playoff game,” said Indians head coach Joe Price. “It’s completely due to COVID, but it is what it is. We would be happy to win the game and happy to host a playoff game, for sure.”

But Plainview’s focus is on the task at hand and that's a squad in Pauls Valley (5-4 overall, 3-3 District 3A-3) that could pose some challenges.

Panthers quarterback Justin Humphrey is a big reason for the success and he showed that last week with four rushing touchdowns in a 41-6 win over Dickson.

“Their quarterback is a good athlete,” Price said. “They run the wishbone offense and it’s pretty tough. They do a good job of trying to control the time of possession — being happy with getting three yards in a cloud of dust. They’ll really consume a lot of clock at points in time.”

The Indians (3-6 overall, 3-3 District 3A-3) will try to prevent that from happening with Taylor under center. He didn’t play the entire game against Sulphur, but that could change this week.

“We’re going to try to get back into our offense we were running before everyone got hurt,” Price said. “We’ll get everything going again and I think we’ll be good.”

And Plainview will also lean on its strong rushing attack, led by Caden Pickens, Jeston Gilliam and Blue Norman. The trio will help the Indians turn to a balanced attack after struggling to get much going last week in a 41-13 loss.

“Sulphur is a pretty physical team,” Price said. “I think we kind of got worn down a little bit, getting into that third quarter. But the whole deal of limiting the amount of time we were going to play Reis and some of that stuff. We just wanted him to get in there and get some game time.”