In the Second Round of the Class 2A Playoffs the Jones Longhorns take on the Washington Warriors. Derrick Smith from Prep RedZone Oklahoma Joins us for the weekly roundtable.
Big playoff win against Luther last week, what are your thoughts on the game?
Matt: Survive and Advance! Jones was able to withstand a top-notch effort from Luther, give the Lions credit, they really showed up. In the end, the Longhorns depth and experience really made up the difference. Over the last decade, the Longhorns have lost only one first-round playoff game. That is an unbelievable stat for Coach Martin and the Longhorns.
Derrick: No doubt. If memory serves me correctly Coach Martin has over a 90% winning rate in the first round of the playoffs. No matter who you are and what classification you play in that’s impressive. That’s the difference in a sports team and a program. Jones has however had a bad habit the last few weeks and at times this year jumping out on teams by a wide margin that should effectively put the game away and letting them back in it. So hopefully that’s the last time we see that this season.
Jones travels to Washington this week, will this be the toughest class 2A team the Longhorns will face?
Derrick: I do believe it could be the “toughest” in the sense that Washington, like Jones is a program. They are built on toughness and discipline much in the way Jones and Coach Martins teams are. The difference I believe is Jones usually has a higher caliber of athlete across the board and of course a 6’6” 220lb man child playing QB. Not to mention really talented wideouts and a new weapon in the running game as well.
Matt: Washington has been on a roll this season, there is no doubt. However, the Longhorns should look no further than the Lincoln Christian game to gauge their capabilities. That game is still the closest any team has come to LC this year. That should give the Longhorns confidence. But there is no doubt this Washington team will come in with a load of confidence.
What will be the keys to the game?
Matt: On Offense, Carson May and company will have a stout test Friday night. The Warriors have allowed an average of 8.5 points per game this season, including three shutouts to close the regulars season with an average margin of victory of 40 points. The pass protection will be pivotal to give Carson May the opportunity to find open receivers. On defense, Washington is a run first team that has a few home-run threats. But as the Longhorns learned last year, once a defense gets settled, they are prone to an explosive play-action game. Being ready for the deep pass while containing the rushing attack will be key.
Derrick: I agree. Carson is always the answer there, however I think being able to rush the ball and be efficient offensively will be the biggest key on that side of the ball this week. Defensively they need to control the line of scrimmage and stop that Warrior rushing attack before it gets started. If you can do that and make them one dimensional then I think that will drastically improve the chances to come away with the win.
The Longhorn season ended at Washington last year. What impact will that have on the game?
Derrick: I definitely think it gives some extra motivation for the Longhorns. Someone I know close to the Washington program told me they’ve wanted this matchup ever since it became a possibility a few weeks ago. The Warriors want to show that they deserved to win last year and not because of a fluke call. So both teams have plenty of motivation on top of the obvious win or go home aspect. I expect the Longhorns to win a tough one. 34-32
Matt: You heard it here first folks! That is great insight on the Washington side. When we interviewed Coach Martin last week after the Luther game he said “it is where we left off last year, so let’s go finish.” For this team, but especially these Seniors, there is a shot at redemption for how that game ended last year. If you remember, the Longhorns were really moving the ball in the 4th, I think that carries over.
XP from Derrick: I asked coach Martin for a quick quote about his thoughts and approach to the game. This is what he had to say “ Two traditional Oklahoma HS powers squaring off in the playoffs, it’s what this time of the year is about! These games are usually decided by a handful of plays. You have to be able to take some punches and keep swinging!”