Brexten Green got to the endzone and jumped as high as he could. With a Texhoma defender draped over him, Green plucked the ball out of the sky with one hand before getting both feet in bounds. It took the officials a few seconds to confirm what he already knew. Touchdown Wildcats.
It was Green’s third touchdown of the night, putting the #1 Wildcats in front 45-6 with :02 left in the third quarter.
It was that kind of night for the Wildcats, as they advanced to the third round of the OSSAA Class A Playoffs for the first time since 2015 with a 45-6 win over the Red Devils.
After a sluggish start to the game, the Wildcats put up 45 points from the midway point in the second quarter to the end of the third quarter, flipping a close game into a blowout in a matter of 18 minutes.
The Wildcat offense sputtered out of the gate, hurting itself with penalties and unforced errors. But while the Wildcat offense searched for its footing, the Cashion defense continued its incredible run.
Entering Friday, Defensive Coordinator Tony Wood wanted his defense to finish the night with seven sacks and four turnovers. They finished with four sacks and three turnovers.
“We didn’t play very well offensively in the first half, but defensively we played well the whole game,” Cashion Head Coach Lynn Shackelford said. “If we don’t fall asleep one time, they probably don’t score. It was kind of one of those frustrating nights early because we were playing so well defensively, but we weren’t playing very well on the offensive side of the ball to really make that worthwhile, but we figured it out in the second half.”
The Wildcats got on the board with 6:12 left to play in the first half when Ben Harman found Green on a 19-yard fade to the corner. Alex Nabavi found the endzone on the next possession, scoring on a 24-yard run to put the Wildcats up 14-0.
Nabavi set up the Wildcats next touchdown, picking up a fumble and returning it to the 3-yard line, allowing Caden Harrell to punch it in to put Cashion up 20-0 with 3 minutes to play in the half.
Texhoma got its only touchdown of the game on a 51-yard touchdown to close the gap to 20-6 at halftime.
Green opened the third quarter with a 43-yard touchdown run with 9:08 to play in the quarter to extend Cashion’s lead to 20. TJ Roberts scored his lone touchdown of the game on the following possession to put Cashion up 32-6 with 6:39 to play in the third.
Nick Nabavi added another turnover for the Cashion defense, scoring on an 18-yard interception return. Green’s acrobatic catch with :02 left in the quarter put the game at its final score.
The Wildcats finished with 410 yards of total offense and averaged 8.5 yards per play. Green led the Wildcats with 197 yards of total offense and three touchdowns. Alex Nabavi added 144 yards rushing on nine carries and one touchdown.
Despite going scoreless in the first quarter, the Wildcats still put up gaudy numbers. Shackelford says the surge in the second and third quarters happened because his team stopped making mistakes.
“I think we finally just got out of our own way,” Shackelford said. “We talked about it at halftime, that those two quarters were over and all we had to do was go play two good quarters in the second half, and if we did that we’d like our chances. I thought we played really well in that third quarter.”
As good as the offense was in the second and third quarter, the defense was exceptional all night. Cashion held Texhoma to just 93 yards of total offense, with 51 of those coming on one play. As the Wildcats get set to play in the quarterfinals, Shackelford says he expects more of the same when it comes to his defense.
“Our defense has played well all year long,” Shackelford said. “I would be really, really shocked if we played a game the rest of the year where they don’t play well. That’s not to say that someone won’t challenge us or score points, but I think you’re going to have to be pretty good offensively to make plays consistently and move the ball up and down the field on us. Or at least that’s what it’s been so far this year.”
The #1 Wildcats will now turn their attention to (9-3) Barnsdall who upset Gore High School 29-26 to host Cashion this Friday night.
The Panthers have won four games in a row and have scored 20 points or more in the last seven games. A win over Barnsdall will earn Cashion a semifinal match up with the winner of Pawnee or Mangum High School next week.
The Wildcats will look to advance to the next round when they travel to Barnsdall to take on the Panthers this Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.