In the movie Any Given Sunday, Al Pacino’s character makes an impassioned locker room speech about football being a game of inches.
The Plainview Indians found that out the hard way last week when they came up inches short in a heartbreaking, 35-34 loss to Pauls Valley.
The Indians, who trailed by 14 points at halftime, clawed their way back and scored a touchdown in the final minute of the game to pull within one point. Plainview coach Joe Price elected to take advantage of the momentum his team had and went for two and the win rather than kick the extra point and go to overtime.
“We got the ball to Morgan Pearson, who’s our best receiver,” recalled Price, who has led the Indians to two state runner-up finishes during his eight-year tenure as head coach. “It was a play that we’d practiced a bunch. We felt really comfortable with it and knew our kids could execute the play. We executed the play; we just didn’t quite get in the end zone. Their kid did a good job of tackling him.”
“It was close,” admitted Pearson, who’s one of the top-rated senior prospects in Oklahoma. “We’ve had that play in our arsenal since the first week and we had never run it before. It was the first time we’d ever ran it, and we ran it perfectly.”
Video of the play shows Pearson getting tackled at the one-yard line. As he falls to the ground, he reaches the ball towards the goal line. It rolls away as he and the defender slam to the ground. Did he catch it? Was his knee down? Did he cross the goal line? If so, did he have control of the ball? Even in slow motion, it’s hard to tell.
Price and the Indians have moved on from the loss and are focused on the remaining three games on their schedule. They’re 3-1 in district play and currently third in the standings. Plainview’s next two games are against the two teams ahead of them in 3A-2 (Heritage Hall and Marlow).
‘We have a big game this week, obviously, then two good ones after that,” remarked Price. “We’re kind of in the meat of our schedule. We just need to keep playing well and playing hard and things will work out for itself in the long run.”
Plainview travels to Oklahoma City Friday night to battle #3 Heritage Hall in one of the top games in the state. Cox’s YurView will broadcast this Ford Game of the Week live on channel 3 at 7 P.M. and it will also be available online.
“We’ve got to stay on our assignments,” said Pearson. “We’ve got to lock in and key in on their main players.”
“They’ve got lots of speed on both sides of the football,” added Price. “You’ve got to do your best to block those guys and do a good job of pass protection so you can get the ball to your receivers. Any time you play a team like that, you’ve got to make sure you play well.”