OWASSO — The job isn’t finished yet for the 2017 Afton Eagles.
One game remains, the biggest ever in the still-young lives for the 38 players on the Eagle roster: the Class A state championship game.
No. 1-ranked Afton (13-0) faces second-ranked Crescent (14-0) in the title game at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, Owasso Stadium.
“Our mindset is to go 1-0 again (this week) and hopefully it will be a good outcome for us,” Afton head coach Zach Gardner said. “We’ve got the most important one left, for sure.”
The game pits two of the most prolific offenses and stingiest defenses in the state.
The Tigers have scored 709 points while Afton has 660, tops in Class A.
They’ve blown out Porter (76-12), Rejoice Christian (63-21), Oklahoma Christian Academy (70-41) then “only” beat Hooker 35-25 in the semifinals.
“We told our kids in the playoffs, it’s not something that is realistic every week,” Crescent head coach J.L. Fisher said. “We only scored 35 this last week, which is more realistic. When we are playing good, we are just hard to stop.”
This is Fisher’s 21st season at Crescent. He’s been head coach the past nine.
Afton marched through the regular season unbeaten for a second straight year, then have logged wins over Savanna (48-7), Cashion (40-14), Minco (30-6) and Thomas (52-7) to get to this point.
The only schools that have scored more points than the Tigers are in eight-man: Class C champ rolled up a mind-numbing 822 points while Laverne, which plays for a Class B title Saturday, has scored 769.
The only other 11-man schools ahead of Afton are 2A Millwood, 689, and 3A Jones, 684.
While quarterback Wil Amos has shouldered much of the offensive load for the Eagles, running back Dylan Emery and quarterback Hunter Bowers, have combined for nearly 3,000 yards and 51 touchdowns rushing alone for Crescent.
“We can’t let them big play us,” Gardner said. “They do throw the ball pretty well. It’s just a matter of having the mindset of being physical back, put your body in the way of bigger kids.”
Amos had 353 yards —14th most in a playoff game since 1944 — and five touchdowns in the win over Thomas.
He’s also had 52 carries the last two weeks.
“I am not trying to biased, but he is, hands down, the Class A player of the year,” Gardner said. “It makes coaching easy when you have an athlete like that. But you have other kids believing in the system. We’re not one dimensional, so you can’t just key on Wil Amos.”
“They have a great athlete in the Amos kid,” Fisher said. “He is going to be hard to stop. Nobody has done it all year. We know he is going to get some plays and is electric. We’ve just got to limit his number of big plays. If we can do that, it will give us a chance.”
Afton has allowed only 172 points, the least in Class A, third fewest in all classes.
Minco, which lost to the Eagles two weeks ago, allowed 139, and Cordell has given up 158.
Teams have managed to dent the Crescent defense for 208 points.
“With the success we’ve had, why change the philosophy,” Gardner said. “We just have to do the things we can control in a good way and hopefully like the outcome.”
This marks the 13th straight playoff appearance for Afton, 11 with Gardner and two with Jerry Springer.
While this is Afton’s first-ever title game appearance, Crescent captured a Class A state championship in 1990.
The Tigers have made a dramatic turnaround in four years.
They went 0-10 in 2014, improved to 7-5 in 2015 and were 11-3 a year ago, losing lost to Wynnewood 35-18 in semifinals.
“We have a good bunch of kids,” Fisher said. “We’ve had this bunch since they were freshmen. They have really played together and have worked hard in the off-season. We didn’t win a game when they were freshmen (0-10). Now they are seniors and they are 14-0.
“Hopefully we can get another win Friday.”