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Class 3A state football championship: Blanchard tops Kingfisher for gold ball

Lions' defense was on the field for 74 of the game's 112 snaps against a potent Kingfisher offense.
by Scott Wright Published: December 7, 2012

/articleid/3735893/1/pictures/1902979">Photo - Blanchard's Zach Hill, left, coach Jeff Craig, and Taylor Oliver celebrate after winning the Class 3A football championship between Blanchard and Kingfisher at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. Blanchard won 28-21. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Blanchard's Zach Hill, left, coach Jeff Craig, and Taylor Oliver celebrate after winning the Class 3A football championship between Blanchard and Kingfisher at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. Blanchard won 28-21. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

In the fourth quarter, Kingfisher's Grant Newton scored his second touchdown, tying the game at 21, and Braden Stringer went 57 yards for a touchdown on the Lions' first snap.

“We never quit,” Stringer said. “We never quit in the offseason, going through the hard, hot workouts. We put in the extra work throughout the season, and this shows that we never quit as a football team. We're one out here, we keep each other up. It's the greatest feeling ever.”

Stringer finished with 101 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries. Blanchard only ran 38 offensive plays and finished with 241 yards.

The defense had two interceptions and recovered two of Kingfisher's five fumbles, including one on the first series of the game that started a touchdown drive.

Ranked No. 20 in the preseason after going 5-5 last year, coach Jeff Craig knew no one would be talking about his team this season. But he and his players believed since the summer that they could make their gold ball dreams a reality.

“I told our guys, it doesn't matter if they're talking about us in Week 1. It matters if they're talking about us in Week 15,” Craig said. “It's a great feeling to get one as a head coach. But you look over at that pile of kids celebrating, and that's what it's really all about.”

by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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