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Longhorns kick late FG to knock off Plainview

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

LONE GROVE — The Plainview and Lone Grove high school football teams turned to a number of different playmakers on both sides of the ball Thursday night in the annual “five-mile feud.”

However, one of those athletes wasn’t called upon until crunch time and he stepped up with a game-winning field goal to give the Longhorns a 15-14 victory over Plainview.

“I was nervous, for sure,” said Lone Grove sophomore kicker Jaxon Lee. “But I just was hoping I made it, so my team wouldn’t be mad at me. … It’s just good we got the seniors a win because I don’t think they’ve won (against Plainview) until this year.”

Lee is right, as his 27-yard field goal gave the Longhorns their first win over the Indians since 2015. Lone Grove could have opted to go for it on fourth down, but decided to take the points with two minutes left in the game.

“We’ve worked that situation in practice all the time,” said Longhorns head coach Brad O’Steen. “We’re talking to him, trying to put him under that pressure. And he responded. I’m really, really proud of Jaxon Lee. He did a great job.”

The Longhorns defense also stepped up by holding Plainview scoreless in the second half. The Indians used their run game to control the clock and took a 14-6 lead into halftime.

The score remained that way until Longhorns senior quarterback Jace Brandenburg rushed for a four-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion failed though, which kept Plainview out in front 14-12 with 7:52 remaining in the fourth.

The Indians couldn’t get a drive going on their next possession and Lone Grove got the ball back and marched down the field to clinch the come-from-behind victory.

“This win puts us in a spot to go handle our business, as far as possibly getting a home playoff game,” O’Steen said. “We just have to continue to get better and grow. This is a long season. You just have to keep growing as a team and fix the little things. But I’m proud of our kids. They found a way to win.”

Brandenburg completed 9-of-13 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown. Gavin Peery was his favorite target as the senior caught four passes for 42 yards and a score.

Meanwhile on the other sideline, Caden Pickens was the workhorse for the Indians with 23 carries for 153 yards and a touchdown. Jeston Gilliam added 49 yards rushing and a score, while Blue Norman finished with 39 yards on the ground.

“It’s part of having a young team — we have to figure out how to hold onto momentum when we have it on our side and keep things rolling,” said Planview head coach Joe Price. “It’s still a learning process for a young team. The hard thing about our district is you’re going to play pretty good teams every week. We have to make sure we learn from this, move on and get ready to go for the next football game.”

The Indians (2-5 overall, 2-2 District 3A-2) host Little Axe at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, while the Longhorns (5-2, 3-1) welcome Madill (2-5, 1-3) to town at 7 p.m. Friday.