Stratford’s Walker McBryde (15) celebrates after an interception against Gruver on Friday at Dick Bivins Stadium. [Ben Jenkins/ Press Pass Sports]
In a rematch of two well-known rivals, the Stratford Elks once again topped Gruver for the second time in three weeks with a 25-6 win in a Class 2A Division II regional semifinal at Dick Bivins Stadium.
Stratford defense was as good as it gets in the win.
The Elks were able to pick off Gruver quarterback Carter Armes three times in the game, while falling on two fumbles. The Elks made use of the miscues, scoring 14 points off of the turnovers.
Our defense was outstanding,” Stratford coach Matt Lovorn said. “We held them to negative rushing yards. They had been putting up a lot of yards, and all 11 of our guys did a great job. Defense was the key in this game.”
Stratford was able to stall a usually high powered offense that had scored and average of 51 points in their first two playoff games to only 103 total yards and six points on the night, gaining a measure of revenge in the process.
Gruver eliminated Stratford in a state quarterfinal last season.
The ground game was dominant as usual for Stratford as three different players found the end zone. Brit McQuitty got the scoring started as he went untouched for an 80-yard touchdown. McQuitty led the Elks with 23 carries for 173 yards and two scores.
Iuden Romero finished with 62 yards on 14 carries and added a score as well.
Stratford (12-1) has now won 11 straight on the year. Gruver, the state runner up last season, ends the season at 8-5. The Elks will face Wink in a state quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Friday at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock. Elks will make their 14th quarterfinal appearance in the last 20 years.
“Around here we pride ourselves on tradition,” Lovorn said. “Our players know what it takes, and go get back 14 times in 20 yeaes is a to our team, the coaches, the school and the community.”
Stratford 25, Gruver 6
Gruver 0 0 0 6 — 6
Stratford 6 12 7 0 — 25
S—Britt McQuitty 80 run (kick failed)
S—Romero 24 run (conversion failed)
S—McQuitty 27 run (conversion failed)
S—Walker McBryde 7 run (Reyes kick)
G—Jalin Conyers 18 pass from Carter Armes (conversion failed)
First Downs 4 14
Rushing Yards -(7) 266
Passing Yards 60 110
Total Yards 53 377
C-A-I 11-36-3 6-15-0
Punts-avg. 5-31.8 4-30
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties 10-105 6-75
Rushing— Stratford: McQuitty 23-173, Romero 14-62, W. McBryde 19-33 Gruver: Haynes 4-8.
Passing— Armes 11-36-3-110, W. McBryde 6-15-0-60.
Receiving— Stratford: Rinne 2-11, T. McBryde 1-14, Ortega 1-19, Gruver: Felderhoff 4-40, Conyers 2-31.
Wink rally‘s to end Vega’s season
The Vega longhorns were up 21-0 after halftime, but a Wink comeback fueled by freshman running back Matt Rosas secured a Wildcat 28-21win in a Class 2A Division II regional semifinal on Friday night in Levelland.
The Longhorns came out of halftime up 14-0. The Longhorns quickly extended that lead on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Carson Kirkland to Riley Tiemann.
Wink didn’t get down, roaring back to score 28 unanswered behind freshman running back Matt Rosas’ monster second half. The lead back ended the night with 16 carries for 92 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground. The freshman also caught a 63 yard touchdown as well.
The Longhorns finish their season 9-4.
Wink (10-3) will play Stratford in a state quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Friday at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock.
Wink 28, Vega 21
Wink 0 0 14 14 — 28
Vega 7 7 7 0 — 21