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December 19, 2013

Yellow Jackets put sting in final Blanchard outing of season

STILLWATER —

It’s funny how big moments can thrust even the must unsuspecting person into the spotlight.

For the 3A State Final, that person was sophomore Nick Smith, who scored all of Kingfisher’s points as the running back and kicker in their 30-23 win over Blanchard on Thursday in Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater. Coming into the game, he wasn’t on many radars. There was Landon Nault, the senior running back for Kingfisher, and Braden Stringer, Blanchard’s main man who had a touchdown run and catch and another 100+ yards game to keep the Lions in the fight.

But the night belonged to Smith and the Yellowjackets, who scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to win. Smith had 223 yards on just seven carries, and four of those were into the end zone. 

“We knew with all the points that they scored, we were just handing it to them,” Smith said. “So we had to fight to come back. I’ve never had that [kind of game.] I couldn’t have done it without my linemen.”

The feeling on the Lions sidelines was one that the Yellowjackets knew far too well last year. It was Blanchard who took this same contest in 2012, and this year the shoe is on the other foot.

“They changed a few things in their offense, just a little adjustment,” Blanchard head coach Jeff Craig said. “Using Landon [Nault] and Nick [Smith] in that little set, it took us a minute to adjust to it. I’m proud of our kids for not laying down and battling back.”

After both opened with three-and-outs, it appeared this would be similar to Blanchard’s semifinal against Plainview as a defensive, grinding battle. Smith changed all of that on the Yellowjackets’ first play of their second drive by running 75-yards to the house and giving his team the lead. Smith made the cut at just the right moment down the left, and there was no one even close to stopping him.

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