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Janet West
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Solid Starting Point for KHS

November 18, 2020 - 00:00
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Yellowjackets demolish Dickson 49-8 in Class 3A playoff opener

  • Solid Starting Point for KHS
    KINGFISHER LINEBACKER Alan Munoz (left) and Camden Foster (right) combine to make a tackle against Dickson during last week’s 49-8 win. [Photo by Chris Simon/]
  • Solid Starting Point for KHS
    SKY HIGH — Jarret Birdwell (25) soars over a Dickson defender to haul in a catch. Birdwell had two receptions and two interceptions in the game. [Photo by Chris Simon/ www sim on-sports-photos . sm ugmug.corn]

Kingfisher is right back where it would have been in the first place.

The Jackets disposed of visiting Dickson 49-8 last Friday in a game even more lopsided than the final score.

The victory in the first round - or play-in round - of the Class 3A playoffs advances the Jackets to this week’s second round, which in a typical year would have been the first round.

“It sounds confusing, but, that’s exactly right,” KHS head coach Jeff Myers said. “Had they not made the changes, we would have played this week’s game last week.”

The OSSAA moved earlier this season to include every team in the playoffs as opposed to the roughly half that generally advance (the top four teams in each district).

That’s what set up the Jackets against a one-win Dickson squad.

“There were a couple of reasons they set it up this way this year,” Myers said. “But there was no doubt it was going to set up a lot of blowouts.”

This was one of them.

The Jackets had eight first-half possessions and scored touchdowns on six of them...and also on a punt return.

Up 49-0 in the second quarter, the game had a running clock before the first half ended.

“We had them outmanned, but you also have to go out there and do what you’re supposed to do,” Myers said. “You don’t let a team like that hang around and build up any hope.

“We had a couple of mistakes, but we also never allowed them to believe they could win.”

The Jackets chewed up large chunks of yardage on their first drive before Cade Stephenson scored on a 13-yard run.

He added a 12-yard reception and a 90-yard punt return for scores in the half.

Jax Sternberger threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score.

That was a 50-yard scramble down the sideline on the Jackets’ third possession to give the team a 14-0 lead.

His other score was a 39-yard pass to Will Taylor on a tight end seam near the end of the half.

Mason Mecklenburg and Harrison Evans added TD runs while the defense surrendered next to nothing.

By halftime, KHS had out-gained the Comets 325-66.

Dickson quarterback Jack McDonald had nearly as many completions to Jarret Birdwell (2) as he did his own team (3).

Birdwell’s second interception came on the half’s final play, one he almost returned for a score.

Kingfisher also forced a turnover on special teams as Cade Cooper pounced on a fumble.

Birdwell added two receptions for 51 yards on offense.

Sternberger was 7 of 9 for 130 yards.

Stephenson ran for 88 yards on just five carries.

Sternberger’s two rushes netted 80 yards, Cooper ran for 44, Dallon Barton 35 and Mecklenburg 26.

In all, KHS gained 402 yards to 144 for the guests.

Myers has now won 39 playoff games, including at least one win every year except one in his 17 seasons.

He shoots for the 40th postseason victory at 7 p.m. Friday when KHS hosts Lone Grove.

The Longhorns defeated Mount St. Mary 47-7 in their first-round game.

They’re 8-3 overall, which included a 5-2 mark in District 3A-2, good for third place.

The district losses came to champ Kingston (28-8) and runner-up Sulphur (41-32).

Lone Grove defeated Dickson 49-0 on Oct. 9.