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History on Kingfisher’s side Friday

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Jackets have great record in Round 1 and against Marlow under Myers

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    Marlow Outlaws vs. Kingfisher Yellowjackets

If history is any indication, Kingfisher is in great shape for its first-round playoff game.

But, then again, games aren’t played in the past.

KHS travels to Marlow to open the Class 3A playoffs Friday at Outlaw Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

The Jackets will enter the game with a 6-4 record that included a 4-2 mark in District 3A-1, good for a third-place fi nish.

Marlow is 7-3 and was second place in 3A-2 with its 6-1 record.

This is the third time KHS and Marlow have met in the playoffs during head coach Jeff Myers’ 16-year tenure with the program.

The Jackets won both of the previous meetings.

The first time was a 21-20 win at Marlow in 2005 and the second a 45-7 Jackets’ home win in 2007.

Both of those meetings also came in the fi rst round.

In fact, a Myers-coached KHS team has never lost to Marlow.

KHS won district games against the Outlaws in 2012 and 2013 and season openers in 2016 and 2017.

“We’ve had pretty good luck against them,” said Myers, who has guided his team to the playoffs in all 16 years. “We want that to continue this week.”

Kingfisher’s good fortunes under Myers haven’t just come in the fi rst round.

In all but one season, KHS has won at least one playoff game with Myers as the head coach. The lone exception was 2015.

“We’ve prided ourselves in playing our best when the postseason gets here,” Myers said. “Sometimes that’s meant taking our lumps in the regular season. But when we play the type of schedule we do, we feel it’s got us prepared for what’s to come in the playoffs.”

This year is not exception.

The Jackets’ four losses are to teams with a combined 38-2 record. Those two losses have come against other teams in that group (Bethany beat Tuttle; Heritage Hall beat Perkins-Tryon).

All four of those squads figure to contend for a gold ball this postseason.

A sign the Jackets’ play is on the uptick might have appeared last Thursday when KHS handed John Marshall a 43-26 defeat on the road.

The Bears had just two losses entering the game.

“I didn’t feel we’d put together a complete game against a quality opponent this year,” Myers said. “That was as close as we’ve come. We made some big plays in all three phases of the game against a really dangerous team.

“That’s, by far, our best win this season.”

Marlow started the season 1-2 with losses to Chickasha and Washington, both playoff teams. The Outlaws have since gone 6-1 with the only loss coming to Plainview in district play.

Among those wins was a 26-12 “upset” of Sulphur in Week 8.

“They just lined up and ran the ball at Sulphur,” Myers said. “Gave them a dose of their own medicine.”

Of course, Marlow’s been handing out those doses most of the season.

“They run the ball really. That’s what they do,” Myers said.

Leading that attack is junior Chase Knight. He averages 101.2 yards a game, 5.8 per carry and has scored 17 times.

Quarterback Jace Gilbert has added 323 yards and fi ve scores. Through the air, Gilbert has thrown for 1,575 yards and 10 scores without an interception.

Tag Allen has caught half of Gilbert’s 90 completions for 874 yards and six scores.

“They can throw it and do an adequate job,” Myers added. “But they do want to run the ball.”

Marlow averages 26 points a game and has surrendered 16.4 per outing.

“They play very sound,” said KHS offensive coordinator Micah Nall of the Outlaw defense.

Matt Weber, now in his second year of his second stint with the program, has changed the program’s traditional defensive scheme.

“They run a 4-2 box now as opposed to the old ‘Okie’ 5-2 box they ran forever,” Nall said.

“They aren’t really big, but they play hard and they play sound.”

With its second-place district finish still hanging in the balance, Marlow did show signs of struggle in each of the past two weeks.

It trailed Bethel at halftime of a game it eventually won 68-34.

“Bethel throws it nearly every down and if Marlow has a weakness, it’s against the pass,” Nall said.

Against Purcell, Gilbert threw three interceptions.

Marlow also trailed in the second half of that game before emerging 35-27.

Kingfisher will try to counter all of that. Traditionally, the Jackets have been good at it this time of year.

“For us, it depends on which team shows up,” Myers admitted. “If it’s the team that’s taken a quarter or two to get going, it could be a long night.

“If it’s the one that played John Marshall, I think we’ve got a great shot to advance.”