Indians back home this week against Little Axe

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

All it takes is a quick look at the standings and it’s clear that the Plainview High School football team should easily beat winless Little Axe.

However, the Indians know they can’t overlook anyone when the two squads meet in Plainview at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23.

“We just have to go out there and take care of ourselves, do what we do and make sure we execute our stuff,” said Indians head coach Joe Price. “It’s a night where you definitely need to go play well early because those are games that it can get tough if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do.”

Plainview is in good shape to do that though.

Little Axe (0-6 overall, 0-5 in District 3A-2) has struggled to score this season, highlighted by four shutout losses. But Price knows there is usually more going on behind the scenes.

“The head coach over there is trying to get things figured out,” he said of Little Axe’s Matt Lane. “He went into a tough situation and he’s trying to do his best. I think they’re doing alright. They’re doing the best they can.”

The Indians (2-5 overall, 2-2 in District 3A-2) know that feeling after the injury bug struck early in the season, but they looked to win their third straight game last week in the annual “five-mile feud” against Lone Grove.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case once the clock hit triple zeros in a 15-14 loss. But Plainview still has a shot after OSSAA decided to create a “play-in round” this season to allow every team a shot in the postseason.

“If we get our quarterback (Reis Taylor) back and we get everyone healthy when the playoffs start, we have a chance to go make a run,” Price said. “Before the injury bug hit us, I thought we would be able to beat everybody. It’s just not the way it’s worked out.”

Only time will tell how the rest of this season goes, but the Indians know they’re in good shape for next year. A number of Plainview’s playmakers will be back in 2021 and that should pay dividends.  

“We have a core group of about seven starters that have started almost every game all year long,” Price said. “Those guys are continuing to get better and better every week. They’ve been playing really well all season long.”

Jeston Gilliam, Blue Norman and Caden Pickens are of a few that’ll return next year, and they’ve led the rushing attack this season. Grant Graves and Morgan Pearson have also been important, but there are plenty more Indians who can make a difference this season and next.

“We have an opportunity, especially if we get quarterback (Reis Taylor) back, to have a chance to go make a run at things,” Price said. “But if we don’t, we’re kind of in the same boat. If we do, we have a chance to be pretty good.”