Wildcat defense hoping for one more performance
Walking off the field in Cushing, with the No. 1 Wildcats still celebrating its 34-16 win over No. 4 Pawnee, Cashion Defensive Coordinator Tony Wood said he hoped his defense had one more performance like this left in them. Today, inside Wantland Stadium, with a gold ball on the line, he’ll find out if they do.
The Wildcats will face No. 5 Ringling in the OSSAA Class A State Championship Game at 1 p.m. at UCO.
Ringling enters its match up with Cashion averaging 36.9 points per game. The Blue Devils do most of its damage on the ground. Wood says its awfully similar to what they saw against Pawnee.
“It is a lot of the same stuff that we faced last week,” Wood said. “They have a really good offensive line and they have running backs that will run real hard and they have big, physical kids. We are going to have to withstand their pounding for four quarters and try to get them behind the chains early and get them uncomfortable.”
Cashion was able to follow that same formula last week against Pawnee, holding the Black Bears scoreless for the last 35 minutes of the game after surrendering 16 points on Pawnee’s first two possessions.
It was another key performance from a defense that has been the difference maker this season. The Wildcats have always possessed offensive firepower, but never have had a defense quite like this. The Wildcats enter the final week of the season giving up only 9.8 points per game, and even those numbers are skewed a little due to blowouts and back ups. But as good as this defense has been this season, they enter the state championship as the second best defense.
Ringling has been lights out on that side of the ball. The Blue Devils pitched nine shutouts in a row this season, holding opponents scoreless for the months of all of October and November. From week three until week three of the playoffs, the Blue Devils didn’t surrender a single point. With all the talk surrounding Ringling’s defense, Wood says his defense is pretty good, too. But so is this team.
“I think we are a pretty good team,” Wood said. “We are all in this together. People are talking about their defense, but we’re talking about our team. And that’s not to take anything away from what Ringling does offensively, because they are dang good, too. But we feel like we have as good of a team as anybody and that’s what we’ve been preaching all week. We’re not taking an offense or a defense to UCO, we’re taking a really good team.”