The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 2, 2012

Kingfisher-Blanchard set for Friday kickoff

By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Just call Oklahoma State University’s Boone Pickens Stadium Kingfisher East.

Kingfisher will be making its third trek to OSU’s football palace in the past four years Friday night when the No. 1-ranked Yellowjackets face Blanchard for the Class 3A state championship. Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m., the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association announced Sunday.

Kingfisher lost to Heritage Hall 28-21 in the 2010 state finals and to Lincoln Christian 35-0 in the 2009 finals at Boone Pickens.

“I see that (experience at Boone Pickens) as a big factor,’’ said Kingfisher coach Jeff Myers. “You always have that ‘awe’ factor when you first step into that. Our seniors will know what to expect, and they will be ready for it.’’

The two teams are familiar with each other from having scrimmaged each other the past four years. The two teams were district opponents from 2000-2007 with the Yellowjackets winning seven of the eight meetings.

The Lions “got the best out of us,’’ in a half-game scrimmage in August, Myers said.

“I’m sure that gave their kids some confidence because they have had quite a run (12-1),’’ Myers said. “They are getting better and they dismantled a good Jones team.

“Our kids have had that (scrimmage) in the back of their minds. It was not pleasant for them doing what they did to us. I’m sure we’ll be ready to play.’’

Kingfisher, for the first time this season, trailed in the fourth period before beating Seminole 31-26 in the semifinals Saturday night.

The Yellowjackets overcame four turnovers, two of which were inside the Seminole 10, in raising their record to 14-0. They outscored the Chieftains 21-7 in the fourth period.

“Anytime you do something like that, it’s a true team character builder,’’ Myers said. “It will be something that will help us down the road, especially this week.’’

Kingfisher offensive leaders Grant Newton and Landon Nault were responsible for the turnovers, but Myers said both showed what they were made of in the comeback.

Newton, who rushed for 183 yards and passed for 138, had a 73-yard touchdown run to cap the 21-point parade. Nault, who had 144 yards rushing, had touchdown runs of 30 and 15.

Newton had fumbled a snap on the Seminole one with Kingfisher trailing 19-17, but the Yellowjackets forced a turnover to set up Nault’s 15-yard run.

“Anytime one of our kids makes a mistake, they don’t panic,’’ Myers said. “They make up for it down the road. I was so proud of the kids. They could have tucked their tails when they were down by 10 points. The defense stepped up when we needed them to. That was huge for us.’’

Seminole’s Trenton Newsom rushed for 260 yards, including TD runs of 49 and 48. That was against a defense that had allowed only one team to rush for more than 200 yards.

“He was the real deal,’’ Myers said. “We knew we were going to have a tough game. Coach (Mike) Snyder hasn’t won more than 300 games there because he had done a bad job. We knew we had to play well.’’

Kingfisher is seeking its first state championship since 2003, when the Yellowjackets beat Sulphur 21-18 for the championship. Kingfisher lost to Clinton in the 2007 state finals.

Blanchard beat Jones 35-7 to reach the state finals for the first time since 1979. The Lions beat Hartshorne 37-14 to win the Class A title that season.

“Our kids know what to expect this week,’’ Myers said. “We have a good leadership group. We know it’s going to be an crazy and exciting week. It’s something they have worked for all year, and it’s a reward for them. We don’t want to take away from that. At the same time, we want to make sure they know we have a job to do.’’

Myers said while it makes for a short week, he likes playing on a Friday night because it keeps the Yellowjackets on its normal preparation schedule.

Myers is 0-3 in championships, losing in the final seconds to Clinton 21-16 in 2007.

“We want that gold ball,’’ Myers said. “Our seniors don’t want to come away with the silver ball for the third time.’’

Ringling, which beat Texhoma 35-21 in a Class A semifinal at D. Bruce Selby Stadium last Saturday, will face Wynnewood at 1 p.m. this Saturday at Boone Pickens for the state championship.

That will be followed by the 2A final between Davis and Oklahoma Christian School at 7:30 p.m.