The memory of last year’s playoff ouster is still fresh with the Cashion football team.
With that in mind, a more strict approach is being taken toward the 2019 postseason.
“Nobody wants what happened last year to happen again this year,” said Cashion coach Lynn Shackelford.
His Wildcats are currently 9-0 and have been ranked No. 1 in Class A all season.
In 2018, Cashion also entered the playoffs undefeated and with a lofty ranking.
Then, in just the second round, title hopes were dashed when Fairview ousted the Wildcats with a 34-27 victory on Cashion’s home fi eld.
“We had a terrible week of practice,” recalls Shackelford of the week leading up to the upset loss. “I think the guys realized after that game that you have to go out and take care of business each and every week.
“We didn’t do that last year and we want to make sure we do this season.”
Cashion’s first shot comes Friday night when it hosts Rush Springs.
Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Rush Springs was 6-4 overall and 3-3 in District A-4 behind Ringling, Dibble and Elmore City.
The Redskins were in a three-way tie for third with Elmore City and Apache, taking the tie-breaker to district points.
Elmore City got third, Rush Springs fourth and Apache was the odd man out.
Rush Springs owns two football titles, but none since 1998.
Like a lot of teams in that region, the Redskins depend on a physical brand of ball.
“They run the ball pretty well,” Shackelford said. “It’s old-school, smash-mouth football.”
Rush Springs doesn’t give up many points (16.9 per game), but also doesn’t score in bunches (16.8 per game).
In each of its four losses, Rush Springs gave up at least 32 points. In two of those games, it scored seven points and was shutout in the other two.
Among its six wins were three shutouts.
Cashion, meanwhile, features an even stingier defense. The Wildcats surrender just 9.3 points a contest.
On the other side of the ball, Cashion has been much more explosive than the Redskins as they’ve tallied 46 points a game.
But none of that matters Friday night as Cashion found out a year ago.
“We have to focus on Rush Springs and doing what we need to win,” Shackelford said. “That’s all that matters this week.”