KINGFISHER — Kingfisher's Landon Nault knew all too well the feeling of getting to the state championship game and losing.
As the Yellowjackets' starting running back in his freshman season, Nault and Kingfisher were underdogs to Heritage Hall, but built a big first-half lead, only to see Sterling Shepard almost single-handedly erase it to win the title for the Chargers.
As a junior last season, Nault led Kingfisher back to the finals, this time as the favorite. But Blanchard pulled off the upset.
So Nault was on a mission as a senior. Nothing short of a gold ball was going to satisfy him.
He rushed for 2,304 yards and 45 touchdowns, surpassing the 7,000-yard mark for his career and earning The Oklahoman's All-State Offensive Player of the Year honor.
Yet in the state finals, with Blanchard's stout defense so fixated on stopping him, Nault essentially became a decoy, opening the door for his backfield cohort Nick Smith to have the game of his life.
“And who's the first guy down there to pick him up and celebrate? It's Landon,” Kingfisher coach Jeff Myers said. “There was never any jealousy or envy. He's that type of kid. He's been in the limelight, but he definitely does not ask for it. Success for the team is what he's after.”
When it was over, Nault had the gold ball that had eluded him his entire career, and nothing else mattered.
“We had to do what we had to do to get it done, and that's what we did,” Nault said. “It was a great feeling. We have a great team with some great coaches. We stuck together, and knew if we did the right things, we could step up and do it.”
A national finalist for the Wendy's High School Heisman, Nault concluded his career with 8,255 yards from scrimmage, which includes more than 1,000 receiving yards, and 132 total touchdowns, scoring on offense, defense and special teams.