3A Title Preview: Berryhill vs. Cascia Hall

Thursday, July 28th 2011, 5:24 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Dec 3, 2009 7:31 PM CDT

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Bobby Lewis
Oklahoma Sports Reporter

STILLWATER, Oklahoma – This year’s 3A state championship matchup features two teams that know each other very well. The Berryhill Chiefs (11-2) and the Cascia Hall Commandos (12-0) play each other every single season as district three foes, and will meet Friday night in Stillwater with a gold ball on the line.

“We’re pretty excited,” said Berryhill senior guard Jesse Nabros. “We put a whole lot of work into it all the way since spring. I think we’re really prepared to go out there and win.”

Preparation couldn’t be more vital for the Chiefs, who lost to the Commandos 24-6 already this season. This week, Berryhill practiced at Owasso High School’s indoor facility to simulate the feel of the turf at Boone Pickens Stadium, the site of the title tilt. Berryhill hopes the extra effort in practice will pay off on the field.

“It’s the same as anything. I truly believe the team that plays great defense and makes the fewest mistakes will come out on top,” said Chiefs head coach Pat Harper. “That’s what we have to do.”

“Cascia Hall hasn’t made very many mistakes for the better half of four seasons. The Commandos are riding a 40-game winning streak and have won by an average of 29.7 points this season. Cascia Hall won the 2A crown in 2007 before winning last year’s championship during its first year in 3A. The Commandos hope to make it three titles in three years with another big win this weekend.

“It’s cool winning it as a sophomore and a junior, but you want to win it as a senior,” said senior defensive lineman Daniel Zabinksi. “It just means so much more.”

“(Our players) have been through this before the last two years,” agreed Cascia Hall head coach Joe Medina. “They know what to expect, and they know the prize at the end. I think they’re going to be ready to go play their best game this weekend.”

“All they do is go out and execute,” said Berryhill senior quarterback Tyler Brown. “All we have to do is go out and play one of the best games of our lives to be a really good team. There’s nothing they don’t do good.”

Defense could be the deciding factor in the championship game. Berryhill has allowed just 13 points in the postseason, while Cascia Hall has surrendered just 28. Both teams expect a tight battle Friday night.

“You’ve got to play great defense. We’ve talked about that all year long,” said Harper. “It’s anxious, it’s exciting. There’re only two teams left. It’s one ball game. You’ve got to take advantage of it.”

Berryhill last won a state title in 2004. To conjure up a little yesteryear mojo, the players decided to dye their hair gold to help them keep their minds focused on the ultimate prize: winning a gold ball.

“It’d put me on top of the world,” smiled Nabros.

Game time is set for 7:30 Friday night. For directions to that and any other game, check out our round four game sites.