Friday’s playoff game will probably feel like deja vu for Community Christian.
CCS will start their playoff run with a first-round home matchup against Davis on Friday, the same matchup the Royals had to start the playoffs last season.
It was a historic feat for that Royals team, winning 35-7 against one of Class 2A’s top programs. It was also the Royals’ first playoff win in program history.
And just because the Royals, who finished the regular season with an 8-2 record, won last year’s matchup doesn’t mean CCS coach Mat McIntosh is expecting another win this time around.
“I know they didn’t take their loss to us last year very well,” McIntosh said. To be honest, I think they were a little bit surprised because they are one of the most tradition-rich, small-school programs in Oklahoma. and we’re not because we’d never won a playoff game before last year.
“That’s the one thing we assume again, I don’t think there’s any chance of them overlooking us or of us not getting their best shot… But we also really think that they’ll come in with a little bit of a different edge than they came in with last year.”
However, McIntosh knows what to expect.
Davis bounced back this season as one of the top teams in Class 2A, finishing the regular season with a 7-3 record. The Wolves ended their season with a 34-0 shutout over Frederick.
The Wolves have typically won utilizing a wishbone, triple-option attack that looks to move the ball gradually down the field and control the clock. The Royals were prepared for it last season, but early turnovers by Davis helped the Royals avoid a low-scoring game.
Part of the challenge, McIntosh said, is preparing for that style of offense. The Royals don’t play many teams that utilize the triple option, and the focus this week in practice has been finding ways to mimic Davis’ offensive style with their practice squad.
“We’re gonna see a lot of the same stuff that we saw last year. It’s really quite the contrast in styles,” McIntosh said. “I would imagine part of their game plan will be to get 3.5 yards to four yards per rush and they’ll be very content to eat up the clock doing that. That’s going to be really the challenge for us defensively. We can’t let them eat up.”
McIntosh is right about the contrast in styles.
The Royals’ air-raid offense found success last year, and they’ve continued it this season. The offense averaged nearly 32 points per game during the regular season and scored more than 50 points in three games.
“Our offense has almost every week shown progression,” McIntosh said. “We started several new linemen this year. and as the season’s gone along, their development has just been phenomenal. That’s why we’ve been able to continue to progress so much in our offense.
“... [Davis will] try to keep us from being able to spread the ball like we want to spread, but what they’ll try to do defensively is just really out-physical us, and that’ll be the challenge for us.”
But even if Davis finds success in limiting the Royals high-scoring offense, the CCS defense could be the key.
The Royals’ defense surrendered just 6.4 points per game to opposing offenses this season and pitched three shutouts. and even as the offense has put up points, the defense has done its part, too.
“Our defense has just been playing really well,” McIntosh said. “Like I said, I couldn’t be any more pleased with them.”
The Royals’ successful season in 2020 included a huge playoff victory against Davis.
And while the expectations were higher this season, another playoff win against Davis would mean just as much for them.