By CLINT FOSTER
It’s Gordon’s time of year.
Throw out the record books. Forget this squad’s youth and inexperience, including eight seniors – only two of which ever played in a single varsity game prior to this season. Don’t worry that their leader, Joe Kostiha, is in his first year as head coach.
The Gordon Longhorns know how to win in the playoffs. They’ve got the pedigree to prove it: two state championships, four semifinal appearances, 11 regional championships.
Today, Gordon (7-4) continues its quest to survive and advance against the Savoy Cardinals (7-3) at 7:30 p.m. in Springtown for the second round of the Class Six-Man Region 3 Division I playoffs – a game the Longhorns have appeared in 16 times in their history.
In the first round of the playoffs last week, the ‘Horns came in as considerable underdogs against the Lometa Hornets (7-4) – who were ranked 28 spots ahead of Gordon by sixmanfootball.com. But rather than buckle under the pressure, the ‘Horns jumped out to a 20-0 lead and simply wore out the big and physical Hornets, en route to a 44-28 victory.
“We love playing the underdog role,” Kostiha said. “We’re just fine with people not expecting us to do well. We believed we could win last week and we believe in ourselves. That’s all that really matters right now.
“We’ve got coaches believing in kids, kids believing in coaches and kids believing in kids. We’ll see how long we can keep it going. We’ve still got
a long way to go to reach the goals we set out in the preseason.”
Kostiha was complimentary of his team, particularly freshman quarterback Seth Allen, whom Kostiha said “did a super job throwing the football to build that lead early.” Allen connected on 6-of-8 passes for 124 yards and three touchdowns.