Lexington in playoffs for the first time
Tuesday, October 17th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Lexington High School's football team knows this year that it will still be playing in the 11th week of the season.
The Bulldogs have qualified for the playoffs for the first time by virtue of their 4-0 start in Class 2A's District 1. Lexington, Lindsay, Millwood and Frederick are all unbeaten in the district; the other four teams are 0-4.
``They're excited about what's going on,'' coach Kenny Stringer said of the school and the community in southern Cleveland County. ``We've had some success in cross country and wrestling, softball. This should really help us not only in football, but all our programs.''
Lexington was picked to finish fifth in the district, but has succeeded with a no-huddle spread offense that has produced 31 points per game. Quarterback Jeremiah Rhodes, a junior, has thrown for 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns.
``We use four and five wide receivers most of the time. We don't run it much,'' Stringer said. ``The other night against Hobart, I think we ran it three times out of 31 plays.''
Lexington has benefited from veteran leadership. There are 14 seniors on the 29-player roster, and most of them get a significant amount of playing time _ nine start on defense, seven on offense.
``We felt like going in that we had a chance, if we played good, to contend for the district championship,'' said Stringer, who has been on the staff 13 years and head coach three. ``These guys have played a lot of ball games together, and we felt we had some pretty talented athletes. But when you've never been to the playoffs, you don't get a whole lot of respect.''
The Bulldogs' final three games figure are against the other three unbeaten district opponents. Then it's on to the playoffs, something Stringer said he hopes will serve the program well.
``On the top end we've had 36 kids out. One year we only had 18,'' he said. ``Hopefully, if we can go ahead and finish strong and have real success, more kids will want to take part.''
There were several outstanding performances during Week 7:
_ Zac Taylor was 20 of 34 for 271 yards in leading Lawton Eisenhower to a 28-19 victory over Del City.
_ Tyler Gooch of Tulsa Union threw for 245 yards and two TDs and ran for two scores in a 28-21 victory over Stillwater.
_ Henryetta's Cole Pinkston ran for 226 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries in a 44-41 loss to Stroud.
_ Avery Shine of Eufaula ran for 164 yards and two TDs and returned a kickoff 81 yards for a score in a 47-20 victory over Vian.
_ Sallisaw's defense recorded its third straight shutout, beating Class 4A's second-ranked Poteau 34-0.
_ Patrick Cobbs of Tecumseh had 32 carries for 331 yards and four TDs in a 35-7 victory over Mannford.
_ Marshell Chiles of El Reno scored six times and had 239 yards rushing in a 47-6 victory over Guthrie.
_ Maud's Ricky Simons had 30 carries for 255 yards and a touchdown, and scored on a kick return in a 34-17 victory over Mount St. Mary.