Lone Grove, Pauls Valley battle with high stakes at play
PAULS VALLEY, Oklahoma (KTEN) - Lone Grove and Pauls Valley are all too familiar with each other and knew a game like this was bound to come.
"We've played those guys through junior high, and we felt like this year between us and them it would probably be for a big game and a spot in the playoffs so and you know here we are," said Pauls Valley head coach Dusty Raper.
Each team has two losses in district play, but it all comes down to who they lost to. The Panthers already have a guaranteed spot in the playoffs. If they win, they'll land the third seed, and if they lose they'll grab the fourth spot.
"You're going to be playing an outstanding football team either way," said Raper. "You get in the playoffs in 3A, it's going to be tough. We would just like to finish on a five-game win streak and have some momentum going into the playoffs. You get third you're going to go to Perkins. You get fourth you're going to go to Metro Christian, and I have not seen much of either one of them. I know they're both outstanding football teams, and we're just focused on this week trying to do what we can to win this one."
On the other hand, if Lone Grove wins they'll grab the second spot, but if they lose they'll be dependent upon the Plainview Indians. If Plainview beats Sulphur this week and Lone Grove loses then the Longhorns are out.
"We're kind of right there as second in the district, and we have an opportunity to control our own destiny. If we win out then we're kind of sitting in a good spot and getting to host a home playoff game," said Lone Grove head coach Curtis Cole. "At Lone Grove that's kind of rare because this would be the I think the fourth senior class in the history of the school to host a home playoff game."
Last year it came down to the wire with Lone Grove coming out on top 28-26 at home, and this year the Longhorns travel to Panther Stadium to try and keep their playoff hopes alive.
"They're a good, physical team. They always play hard, but I think we stack right up against them. We're the same way. We play hard no matter what, so there's dudes on both sides that are really good, but it's always a good matchup for us," said Lone Grove senior quarterback Caden Gilmore.
"They're always a really good team. They're just like us. They're always scrappy. We may not have the best athletes, but we're always willing to go out there and put everything on the line, so I think it'll be a battle of who wants it more," said Pauls Valley senior quarterback Justin Humphrey.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.