By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Fairview connections run deep within Oklahoma Bible Academy’s football program.
Assistant coach Jeremy Kliewer quarterbacked the Yellowjackets to the 1999 Class 2A state championship.
Assistant coach Patrick Rich was a multiple-sport star with the Yellowjackets, as was middle school coach Jay Mendenhall.
Head coach Mark Boyd was a Fairview assistant 1997-2000.
Quarterback-wide receiver Baylor Boyd plays summer baseball with the Yellowjackets’ Joel Kliewer, Jaden Dillard and Jensen Smith.
But don’t expect the Trojans’ game at Fairview to be like old home week.
“It used to be that way, but I don’t think it is anymore,’’ Boyd said. “Coach Kliewer has been gone so long. I think they will always be proud to have been Fairview Yellowjackets, but they don’t get all worked up about going over there like they used to.’’
Boyd said all of his strongest connections — principal Jim Slater, girls basketball coach David Glover and head football coach Lyle Welsh — aren’t there anymore.
“They’re good people over there,’’ Boyd said, “but it’s just a different generation now.’’
Coach Boyd joked son Baylor won’t be doing any trash talking with his baseball buddies.
“They have the upper hand this week,’’ he said. “We’ll try to compliment them and go play.’’
It might feel like 1999 at Eubanks Field this week, with the Yellowjackets taking an 8-1 record into the game and talking a possible gold ball.
“Their battle cry is bring back 1999,’’ said coach Boyd. “They’re trying to go for the gold ball again.’’
Quarterback Grant Nightengale has directed a “NASCAR-like’’ offense which has averaged 45.7 points per game.
Nightengale threw for three scores and ran for another in a 41-13 win over the Trojans last season.
“He throws better than anyone that we have seen this season,’’ Boyd said. “Coach (Chris) Cayot has those guys rolling. They’re just good. We just have to get lined up right against an offense like that.’’
Fairview’s story gives Boyd and the 2-7 Trojans hope. Fairview was 2-8 with a young team two years ago.
“We just want to play the best game we can play,’’ Boyd said. “We could play our best game, and it might not even closely show on the scoreboard because these guys can do so many things to disrupt what we can do.’’
A win would give Fairview (5-1 in district A-1 and 8-1 overall) the most wins by a Yellowjacket team since 2001 (9-2). Fairview has clinched second place in the district, and will host the 2A-2 third-place team next week in the first round of the playoffs.
The Trojans had a moral victory in a 20-14 loss to Hooker last week. They were effective in slowing down University of Tulsa-bound Joe Bean, who threw for two scores and ran for another.
The game was tied late in the fourth quarter. Two of Hooker’s touchdowns came on fourth down.
“Man, we played well,’’ said coach Boyd. “I couldn’t have been prouder of them than if we had won. I might have been happier, but not prouder. They did what they were supposed to do.’’
The Trojans made “some mental errors’’ from inexperience, coach Boyd said, which had an impact on the game.
“We have always played hard, but sometimes we haven’t played smart,’’ said coach Boyd. “We had a situation that could have turned around the game, but our player just didn’t know what to do. That wasn’t his fault. We have had to teach them so many things this year, we might have overlooked some things.’’
OBA’s goal for the game had been “when Hooker walked off the field that they knew they had been in a game.’’
“They did that,’’ coach Boyd said. “You can’t ask any more of the kids than that.’’
Chris Walker scored his eighth touchdown of the season. Preston Atwood connected with Baylor Boyd for the first time for a score.
“What I liked about the game was that our kids were upset,’’ coach Boyd said. “They haven’t gotten used to losing.”
They still want to find ways to win. We played better against Hooker than we did against Chisholm (first game of season). This means we’re better at the end of the season than at the first, that’s what you want.’’
Not able to get to the game? Sign up for ENE's free text alerts at enidnews.com and get the final score
OBA AT FAIRVIEW
Kickoff: 7:30 tonight
Records: OBA 2-4, district, 2-7 overall; Fairview, 5-1 district, 8-1 overall
Series: Fairview leads 4-2
Last meeting: Fairview won 41-13, 2011