Longhorns set for district matchup with Madill

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

The Lone Grove High School football team has a lot on the line Friday night at home. Not only are the Longhorns aiming for their third straight win, but they’re also looking to stay in the hunt for second place in District 3A-2.

However, there’s one more interesting storyline as Lone Grove head coach Brad O’Steen graduated from Madill and he’ll battle his alma mater at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23.

“I guess it’s kind of special to me — you always want to go beat them,” O'Steen said. “It’s kind of unique, but my loyalty is to Lone Grove. We’re going to play a game. Any time you play a game, you play to win. I don’t look at it any other way than that.”

That mentality has helped the Longhorns (5-2 overall, 3-1 in District 3A-2) this season, especially after a close 15-14 win over Plainview last week. It was Lone Grove’s first victory over the Indians since 2015 and puts the team in a good spot for the postseason.

“We just have to keep plugging away, keep getting better and go handle our business each week,” O'Steen said. “And keep stacking up district wins. The last week of the year we play Sulphur and that will be for second place in the district. We need to go handle our business this week and give ourselves a chance for that opportunity.”

And that makes it even more important for the Longhorns not to overlook Madill, which is looking to bounce back after three straight losses.

“Anything can happen on any given night, so we need to go play our best,” O'Steen said. “Really all we can do is control what we do. We need to concentrate on us going out and performing and doing our best.”

Lone Grove will still keep its eye on quarterback Kendall Robertson. The junior has led the way for Madill (2-5, 1-3) this season, and it hasn’t just been with his arm.

“Their quarterback does a lot of things, as far as throwing the football and they run him quite a bit,” O'Steen said. “They have several weapons on the field that they use to throw the ball to. We need to stop the run game and control the pass. That’s our mindset.”

The Longhorns also have a number of playmakers on offense, highlighted by quarterback Jace Brandenburg and running back Cooper Robinson. The seniors are tough to stop, but Lone Grove is focused on preventing the Wildcats from finding success.

“We have to handle what they’re going to do, whether they’re trying to throw the ball on us or run the ball on us,” O’Steen said.