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Washington Football

Back in the State saddle

Warriors defend title Saturday night against familiar foe

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It’s not like they don’t know each other and it’s not like they haven’t been on this stage before.

For the third time in the last seven years Washington and Millwood will clash with the Gold Ball at stake.

This year they will meet at 7 p.m. at Chad Richison Stadium on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.

Last year Washington came from behind to win their second State Championship in school history and first since 1996, pinning a 17-14 loss on the Falcons.

“I think this is quite an accomplishment for both programs,” Washington Head Coach Brad Beller said. “We’re familiar with their staff and familiar with their players.”

OU wide receiver commit Jaden Nickens is the reason Washington is not playing Keifer in the finals.

Last week Keifer had scored the go-ahead touchdown with just seconds remaining. Keifer kicked off and the ball fell into the arms of Nickens who took the pigskin to the crib for a walk-off semifinal victory.

Sophomore quarterback Schuylar  Turnbull started last year as a freshman and has command of the spread offense the Falcons utilize.

“He’s a great football player,”  Beller reports. “But their X-factor is Xzavier Thompson. He’s their stud.

“Those three are really good football players. Then there is their do-everything linebacker Cameron Carter,” Beller said.

Carter will line up sometimes in the backfield to rush the football. The other Falcon linebacker is the talented Micho Lavine.

“Both of their linebackers are really good. They will both play college football,” Beller predicted.

Overall, Beller reports Millwood’s 4-3 defense is as complete a defense as you can have in high school football.

“They can stop the run and still limit you through the air. They are as physical as we have seen all year,” Beller said.

One key for a Warrior victory is getting out of the gate faster on defense.

“We need to have a great start defensively. The last three weeks we have not played well early. We also need to limit their big plays,” Beller said.

“Offensively, we need to take care of the football and control the line of scrimmage,” Beller said squarely putting the game on the shoulders of Baylor Haynes, Easton Berglan, Tanner Winlock, Jordan Vanya and Kingston Stringer.

Warrior notes:

Washington’s Tanner Winlock will be playing Saturday in the State Championship football game, his 57th career game as a high school gridder.

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