By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
FAIRVIEW, Okla. —
The scoreboard operator might be in for a long night when 11-0 Cashion hosts 10-1 Fairview Friday in a second-round Class A football game.
The host Wildcats, ranked No. 5 in Class A, are averaging 45.7 points a game, led by quarterback Ty Reasnor, who has thrown for 2,488 yards and 37 touchdowns.
The Yellowjackets, ranked No. 13, are averaging 44.5 points, led by quarterback Grant Nightengale’s 2,418 yards passing and 946 yards rushing.
But Fairview coach Chris Cayot warns not to expect a game reminiscent of old 8-man games.
“Our defense is better than most of the defenses they have seen, and their defense is better than most of the defenses we have seen,’’ Cayot said. “It just comes down to who can make the plays at the right time.’’
Fairview did that last week in a 35-34 win over Apache as Nightengale took the Yellowjackets on two fourth-quarter scoring drives after the Warriors had taken a 34-21 lead.
The Yellowjackets saw Apache score four unanswered touchdowns after leading 21-7. One came on a 20-yard fumble recovery, one of three Fairview turnovers.
“Apache is a really good team,’’ Cayot said. “We were lucky to get back and come out on top. We just let the momentum get away from us.’’
That was only the second game Fairview had more than two turnovers. The other was a 55-14 loss to Texhoma, where the Yellowjackets threw three interceptions and lost a fumble.
“We took ourselves out of that game,’’ Cayot said. “We have to avoid turnovers. If we just play our style of game, I think it will be a really good game and it will come down to who makes the most plays or the last play.’’
One advantage Fairview could have is in the kicking game. Dylan Lipps was 5-for-5 on extra points against Apache. He has kicked 55 extra points and four field goals.
“It’s a rare treat to have a kicker of Dylan’s caliber in Class A,’’ Cayot said. “He does a good job for us. He works hard at it.’’
The two quarterbacks have different styles.
Reasnor, who has thrown only one interception in 213 attempts, is more of a pocket passer. While he doesn’t run much, he is athletic enough to buy time.
“They do a good job of keeping his jersey clean,’’ Cayot said.
Reasnor’s favorite receivers are Joe Neece (53 catches for 1,002 yards, 16 TDs), Peyton Maroney (24 for 474, 10 TDs) and Nate Lee (26 for 414 yards, 3 TDs).
Reasnor had TD passes of 9 and 7 yards to Lee, 36 to Neece and 91 to Maroney in a 268-yard passing performance in a 39-22 win over Healdton in the first round a year ago.
Cayot felt Fairview defended Reasnor well in a 34-27 loss to the Wildcats in a first-round game a year ago.
“The difference wasn’t necessarily him throwing,’’ Cayot said. “It got to the point where they got the lead and pounded it on the ground. We didn’t do a good enough job of getting him stopped.’’
T.J. Martin rushed for 262 yards on 39 carries, including touchdown runs of 75 and 27 yards. Martin has rushed for 969 yards and 13 scores this season.
“They do a real good job of mixing things up,’’ Cayot said. “They will attack you across the field. Reasnor doesn’t have to run much. They have a couple of seniors that can carry the load.’’
Tim Regier leads the Fairview defensive charge with 109 tackles. Joel Kliewer has 78. Brett Fast has 76.
Nightengale is a run-pass threat and has three receivers with 20 or more receptions — Michael Christopher (51 for 693 yards and 7 TDs), Bryce Kippenberger (32 for 457 yards and 7 TDs) and Ross Smith (22 for 344 yards and 5 TDs).
A year ago, Nightengale rushed for 91 yards and threw for 132. Christopher had five receptions for 51 yards.
Cayot said Nightengale does not see this as a personal battle against Reasnor.
“Grant just wants to win,’’ Cayot said. “Nobody has worked harder the last three or four years around here than Grant Nightengale. He could have a 10-yard passing game and 15 yards running and he wouldn’t mind as long as we won.’’
Fairview is 0-3 against Cashion since the Wildcats went from 8-man to 11-man. They beat the Yellowjackets, 14-2 in 2008 and 34-14 in 2009.
The two schools have a history in both junior high and junior varsity.
“We’re pretty familiar with each other,’’ Cayot said. “I think it helps that we have been around each other.’’
The win last week over Apache was Fairview’s first playoff win since a 12-10 victory over Newcastle in 2005. Last year’s playoff game marked the first time Fairview had been in the postseason since 2007.
“I think the kids feel a little more confident having been in that atmosphere before,’’ Cayot said. “We have experience going to Cashion. That’s better than going somewhere the kids haven’t been before. They know the lay of the land. That’s as good as travel can get for a second-round game.’’
Fairview reports no major injuries.
The winner will play the Warner-Talihina winner next week. If Fairview wins, the Yellowjackets would host the game.