Plainview football focused on playoff showdown with Verdigris

Beau Bearden
The Daily Ardmoreite
Reis Taylor and the Indians look to clinch a trip to the semifinals of the 3A state playoffs when they host Verdigris on Friday night.

The Plainview High School football team knows there’s no room for mistakes at this point in the playoffs. The Indians are one of eight teams vying for a state title and to accomplish that goal, they must play mistake-free football for four quarters.

“It’s a good matchup,” said Plainview head coach Joe Price. “Usually, the deciding factors are whoever is better up front and who doesn’t turn the ball over. It’s one of those games where neither one of us can turn the ball over three times and expect to win.”

The Indians are playing with house money though, as they’ll host the quarterfinal matchup with Verdigris at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19. The Cardinals, meanwhile, have to make the 220-mile trek south.

With that long trip aside, Plainview knows its opponent can’t be overlooked after finishing the regular season at 9-1.

“Verdigris is fairly balanced with what they do,” Price said. “The quarterback and running back are three-year starters. They have some receivers who are talented. Defensively, they have a couple of really good defensive line guys, the linebackers are good and they have speedy guys in the secondary. They’re athletic all the way around. When you’re playing the final eight teams of the year, everybody is going to be pretty good at this point.”

That’s especially the case since Verdigris finished tied with Holland Hall and Berryhill for first place in District 3A-4. The Cardinals beat Holland Hall 12-7, but lost to Berryhill 28-10.

“We don’t have any common opponents and I don’t think comparing scores is really fair either,” Price said. “They beat Holland Hall, but then they let Seminole score 33 points last week. That’s not really a comparable deal. We just have to get prepared for what they do and make sure our kids are really sound on what we want to do. Just go execute what we’re supposed to do.”

The Indians haven’t had much issue doing that in the previous four games, highlighted by the offense scoring 40 or more points in the past two contests, while the defense is holding opponents to 21 or less in that same span.

“On a weekly basis, you work on stuff and as you in get into the game, you figure out what’s working,” Price said. “Then you go back to it and find things you can do off it that compliment what’s been working. Coach Ryan Luhmann does a good job of figuring that out and finding who we need to get the ball to and continue to mix things up as the game goes along.”

Plainview hopes that’s the case again this week as it’ll be the Indians’ final home game this season, no matter the outcome. That fact holds special meaning to Price, as he coaches a close-knit group of seniors, including his son.

“It’s a bunch that’s pretty special to me because I’ve watched my own son play football with them since they were little kids playing pee wee football,” Price said. “It’s a special deal. It’s a good group of kids. I’m excited to see how the whole thing turns out for them.”