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Indians host familiar foe Madill in district clash

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

Every coaching staff wishes it could figure out a game plan that fits the athletes before they even put on shoulder pads and helmets for the season opener. But sometimes there are bumps in the road, such as injuries, that force coaches to adjust on the fly.

That was the case in the Plainview High School football team’s first three games, but the Indians proved their rushing attack is dangerous last week and that should pay off when they host Madill at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9.

“We kind of found something that fits the kids and fits the running backs that we have,” said Plainview head coach Joe Price. “Our guys do well running down hill and not making a lot of cuts. And offensive line wise, we’ve been able to mesh with what we were doing before. It’s going to be good for us.”

It was more than good a week ago as four Indians combined for 352 yards rushing and four touchdowns.

Plainview (1-4 overall, 1-1 District 3A-2) finished with more total yards due to playing a number of substitutes, but the group of Hunter Young, Jeston Gilliam, Caden Pickens and Blue Norman were tough to stop early on.

However, the Wildcats (2-3 overall, 1-1 District 3A-2) also have some talent on their side of the ball, led by quarterback Kendall Robertson. The junior didn’t find much success in last week’s 55-6 loss to Sulphur, but he did rush and pass for a touchdown two weeks ago in a 24-14 win over Dickson.

Madill running backs Holden McGahey and Brandon Stevens are also a talented duo, combining for 189 yards and a touchdown against Dickson.

“(Madill) has some good skill guys and they have pretty good size up front,” Price said. “We have to do a good job of blocking the right people and executing what we do on offense. Defensively, they have some quick kids. We’re going to have to do a good job of running the ball and tackling.”

And while the two squads haven’t met in district play for a couple of years, they are familiar with each other from meeting in non-varsity action.

“We’ve been playing against these guys for as long as I’ve been here,” Price said. “We just haven’t always played on varsity, but we’ve always played on the lower levels — JV and junior high.”

The Indians and Wildcats last met in a varsity contest in 2017, with Plainview cruising to a 41-14 win at home. But that was three years ago, and every season is a different battle.

Nevertheless, the Indians have home-field advantage going for them Friday night.

“It’s good to have some home games because out of the first four games, three of them were on the road,” Price said. “It wasn’t a good situation for having a bunch of young guys that haven’t played a ton.”