After all the injuries, playing two quarterbacks and struggling with a shaky offense, Blanchard is in the playoffs.

“Given the scenario, I think if I was told this is what is going to happen, I’d be a little surprised,” Blanchard coach Jeff Craig said.

The Lions can finish third or fourth, depending on its game with Elgin Friday.

And that’s no small feat. Both teams are 4-5 overall and 4-2 in District 3A-1.

Elgin has 43 points in the district while Blanchard has 29.

“You can look at scenarios and all that, but it’s just a matter of us winning the game,” Craig said . “You can’t worry about all that.”

Blanchard started the season 0-3 , with losses to Bridge Creek, Lindsay and McLoud. So fighting back to make the playoffs has the Lions feeling pretty good.

Blanchard was trying out two quarterbacks this season. Blake Stringer and Bryce Rusler have been in and out at the position all year.

Then there was the loss of several starters. Losing inside linebacker David Haines, who was projected to be one of Blachard’s best defensive players, particularly hurt.

And the offense has been less than productive, averaging less than 16.2 points per game.

“If you ever told us this is the scenario, like, this is what is going to happen, would you take a playoff spot, I would say yes, there is no doubt in our minds that we would say yes to that,” Craig said. “That’s a testament to our kids. It says a lot about their resilience and their perseverance.

“They hung in there and never quit.”

Craig has said many times this season that execution and turnovers have let the Lions down. Blanchard has been shut out twice this year.

But last week, Blanchard beat Newcastle 34-14 and did not turn the ball over once.

“I don’t know if we are starting to gel or what,” Craig said. “We actually came out and played a game without a turnover. We have not done that all year. If you’re going to start doing things right, this is the time of year to be doing them.”



Purcell

wins regardless

Purcell will win the District 3A-2 title whether it wins tonight or not. The Dragons beat Pauls Valley last week 42-18, which basically secured the title. Purcell hosts winless Northeast tonight, which should give several starters a much needed rest before the playoffs start next week.

“We’ll certainly play a lot of kids,” Purcell coach Mike Wilson said. “We’ll play our starters, but a lot of kids should get some playing time.”

Purcell will give quarterback Hunter Marcum significant time under center, as he has switched from wide receiver to quarterback since starter Cole Swayze suffered a broken leg last week against Pauls Valley.

“He’s played quarterback before, so we have confidence in him,” Wilson said.



Westmoore

must win

Westmoore starts every season with so much promise. Usually, the Jaguars have hopes of a district title and a trip to the state finals.

But if Westmoore has any hope this year, it must beat Edmond North at Moore Stadium tonight. The Jags are fifth at 3-3 in District 6A-2, while Edmond North is fourth at 4-2. A win by Westmoore would salvage a tough season.

Actually, the Jags have been on a roll, winning their last two games. They beat Norman High 22-7 Oct. 23, then beat Lawton Eisenhower 42-14 last week.

Scott Moore

366-3535

sports@normantranscript.com

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