KINGFISHER — Kingfisher junior Jace Sternberger isn't ready to call the Yellowjackets' defense the best in his three years.
“I'll let y'all answer that,” he said. “I don't want to jinx us.”
But the evidence is starting to stack up after Kingfisher dominated rival Hennessey 31-0 Friday night for the team's second shutout of the early season.
The Yellowjackets, ranked No. 2 in Class 3A, held the Eagles to just 142 yards while running backs Landon Nault and Nick Smith carried the load offensively with three touchdowns.
Class 2A No. 5 Hennessey only really threatened to score once when Nault fumbled the ball away just before halftime. The Eagles (2-1) pushed the ball down to the 15, only to turn the ball over on downs when senior defensive end Gatlin Squires knocked down Dylan Hatchel's pass.
At that point, though, it was 24-0.
“For us to shut down a team like that, that scored 40-something points last week against Jones, you can't ask for more than that,” Kingfisher coach Jeff Myers said.
Kingfisher (3-0) started the scoring early when quarterback Docker Haub connected with Jace Sternberger for a 14-yard TD.
Nault and Smith combined to do the rest, with Smith kicking a 34-yard field goal and scoring on a 66-yard run in the second. Nault scored on an 83-yard run and a 1-yard dive.
The duo combined for 292 yards on the ground, with Nault leading the way at 171.
“Putting him and Nick Smith in the back end, if I'm a defensive coach I'm not really wanting to have to deal with that,” Myers said. “That's two cats back there in the back end that can go. Landon, we knew and everybody knew that he could, and he's just the motor that makes us run.”
But early on it's the defense that is making things a lot easier for the offense.
The Yellowjackets have allowed just 19 points this season, all coming in a 58-19 victory against Chandler in Week 2. Last year, they allowed just 8.3 points per game, slightly higher than this year's average of 6.3.
“It's awesome,” Squires said. “Even though they're a class smaller, Hennessey's a tough team. They've always played us tough. Last year we beat them by one at their place and we knew they were going to come hard against us this time.
“I feel like we made a statement today proving we're the best in Kingfisher County.”