Thursday night, the Kingston Redskins went on the road for their final game of the regular season to face the Dickson Comets. The one-win Comets, devastated by injuries, were hoping to improve their playoff position as they prepared to make a playoff run only possible in 2020. The Redskins, on the other hand, had already clinched their third-straight district title, and were just trying to finish their first undefeated regular season in over thirty years. As it turned out, the Redskins made history, finishing their first Class 3A regular season undefeated with a 48-0 victory.
During the November 5 game, the Comets came out for their first drive and moved the ball into Kingston territory, assisted by a facemask on Kingston that led to a Dickson third-down conversion. The drive petered out on the Kingston 35, as senior quarterback Jack McDonald’s pass fell incomplete on fourth-and-ten.
Kingston came out for their first drive, and the Comets were introduced to a heavy dose of junior running back Brandon Watson. Six Watson runs covered 50 ofthe 65 yards on the drive, and Watson’s final carry was a pitch he toted 16 yards untouched into the end zone for an early 7-0 Kingston lead.
Dickson’s second drive ended in disaster. McDonald completed his first pass in the left flat to sophomore receiver Jzavionn Bennett for a 13-yard gain, but his second pass in the right flat was picked off by senior Jase Hayes, who took the ball 30 yards to the house for a 13-0 Kingston lead.
Dickson’s next drive started with sophomore Colt Winchester mishandling the kickoff and returning it only to the Comets’ 15. Dickson went three-and-out from there, and then Kingston junior Braden Matchen returned the ensuing punt 42 yards to Dickson’s 13, for a net -2 yards on the punt. The deflated Comets had little fight left for that drive, and Hayes hit a wide-open senior Connor Short over the middle for a 13-yard touchdown, and Kingston now led 20-0, still in the first quarter.
Dickson’s next drive lost four yards on three plays, and the Comets punted again. The Redskins took over on their own 41, and Kingston=s first play was a 44-yard completion to Watson to the Dickson 31. Senior running back A.J. McKinney took over from there, taking two plays to reach the end zone again, and Kingston ended the first quarter with a 27-0 lead over the hapless Comets.
Dickson’s next drive started at its own three-yard line, as Bennett failed to field the kick until it died on the one. The Comets picked up a first down but then punted again, and Kingston went back to work. A pass to sophomore Klete Finley moved the ball to the Kingston 49, then Watson pounded the Comets, scoring on the drive’s final play from the Dickson 11 to make it 34-0 in the second quarter.
Dickson’s next drive ended after three plays, as McDonald sidearmed a pass into a crowd, Kingston senior Tanner Carr tipped the pass and McKinney intercepted at the Dickson 37. That was it for the Kingston starters, but the results stayed the same. Two plays into the ensuing drive, freshman running back Delton O’Steen ran untouched 31 yards for Kingston’s sixth score ofthe first half. Only the end of the half could stop the Redskins’ offense in the first half, and Kingston took a 41-0 lead into halftime.
Kingston’s reserves played the entire second half, running the clock against the Comets. O’Steen scored on a 38-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter, and the clock ran out on the Comets as Kingston finished its undefeated regular season with a 48-0 victory.
Hayes led all passers with 75 yards through the air, completing 3 of his 6 attempts with one score. O’Steen was the game’s leading rusher with 101 yards on 9 attempts and two scores, while Watson led all receivers with 44 yards on one catch.
Sophomore Damon Rowe led the Redskins with 11 tackles, and junior Brycen Ellisor had the game’s only sack. Dickson managed a grand total of 52 yards of offense, while Kingston’s offense racked up 358 yards on the night.
Kingston Head Coach Tommy Bare praised “another solid performance’ by his Redskins, “a great ending to a perfect regular season.” According to Coach Bare, “everyone on the team contributed to the victory,” and now it’s “time to switch gears for the playoff drive.’
With the victory, Kingston (7-0 district, 8-0 overall) wraps up its first undefeated regular season since 1987. Kingston would have played the Frederick Douglass Trojans (0-4, 0-5) from Oklahoma City this Friday, November 13, under this year’s modified playoff rules as the Trojans finished last in District 1. However, the Trojans have elected not to play, which gives Kingston a bye this week. Kingston’s first playoff game will now be at home on November 20, against the winner of Pauls Valley (3-4, 5-5) and Perkins-Tryon (2-3, 5-4) this Friday night. Kickoff at Kingston’s Harold “Bulldog” Henry Field will be at 7:30 p.m. that evening.
While it is not as fun of a game to watch as a fan, a one-sided blowout in what is essentially a meaningless game is great from a coaching standpoint. Kingston was able to rest some key players this week, and was able to rest the entire starting lineup beginning halfway through the second quarter. Not only does that preserve the health of key players for Kingston’s playoff run, but it also gives coaches a chance to give reserves live game experience that can pay offif they are called on because of injury during the playoffs.
Around District 2, only sixth-place Madill (2-5, 3-7), which ended its season with a 56-12 victory over Little Axe (0-7, 0-9) has opted out of the playoffs. Sulphur (6-1, 7-3), which won second place with a 41-32 victory over third-place Lone Grove (5-2,7-3) Friday night, hosts Bridge Creek this coming Friday (1-3, 2-6). Lone Grove hosts Mount S. Mary (0-3, 4-3) the same night. Plainview (4-3, 4-6), which won fourth place by defeating Pauls Valley 41-7, hosts McCloud (3-3, 5-4), which Pauls Valley travels to face Perkins-Tryon. The seventh-place Comets (1-6, 1-9) travel to Kingfisher (4-1, 6-3), while winless Little Axe tries to score its first win of the season on the road against Heritage Hall (6-0, 8-1).
Kingston’s last undefeated regular season, 1987, ended in the state quarterfinals with a 12-0 loss to Wynnewood. Kingston’s other undefeated regular season, 1979, ended in the second round with a 28-6 loss to Vian. Oddly enough, Kingston’s state championship year, 1980, did not feature an undefeated regular season, but the Redskins were 5-0 in the playoffs, taking the gold football with a 13-6 win over Talahina. Thanks are due to the Oklahoma High School Sports Historical Society for providing that information. The Society’s website iwasatthegame. com is a treasure trove for historical information on Oklahoma high school athletics.