Thursday’s Class 2A bidistrict roundup: Wheeler holds off Archer City; Stratford, Vega win big


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Wheeler running back Hesston Marshall piled up 475 yards rushing against Archer City in a Class 2A Division II bidistrict contest Thursday night in Vernon/ Lauren Roberts/ For Press Pass Sports]

Hesston Marshall had a playoff performance for the ages that helped Wheeler hold off upset-minded Archer City in a wild, 54-47 shootout during a Class 2A Division II bidistrict battle on Leo Brittain Field at Lions Stadium in Vernon on Thursday.

The two teams had no problem scoring lighting up the scoreboard, combining for 101 points and 1,139 yards of offense.

The majority of the Mustangs yards came by the run game. Wheeler chewed up 514 of its 582 yards on the ground. The Wildcats were complete opposite, tallying 465 of their 557 yards through the air.

Wheeler (9-2 overall) relied on the legs of junior running back Hesston Marshall. In a Texas High School playoff showing fans will not soon forget, Marshall carried the ball 35 times for a career-high 475 yards with five touchdowns. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Marshall also 2 of 4 passing for 29 yards with two more TDs.

Thanks to his efforts, Wheeler built a 40-18 halftime lead. But Archer City (7-4) kept chunking the rock, closing the gap, 48-40, thanks to a quarterback Ty Bates arm and a 22-point third quarter.

However, when the Mustangs needed a score at their most opportune time, head coach Chris Evans called on his workhorse, Marshall who scored a key fourth quarter touchdown on a 2-yard run with 5:33 to play, giving Wheeler some breathing room at 54-40.

Bates finished the game an incredible 36 of 59 throwing for 465 yards with four touchdown passes.

Wheeler moves on to the area round to play the winner of Eldorado (9-1) and Haskell (3-7). Those two teams play at 7 p.m. Friday in San Angelo.

Wheeler 54, Archer City 47

Wheeler 28 12 8 6 54

Archer City 18 22 7 47

Class 2A Division II

Stratford quarterback Walker McBryde (15) keeps the ball for a big gain against New Home during a Class 2A Division II bidisfrict contest at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium on Thursday afternoon. [David Erickson/ Press Pass Sports]

Elks blowout New Home

A 42-point first quarter set the tone for a 69-18 beatdown for the Stratford Elks over New Home in a Class 2A Division II bidistrict contest on Happy State Bank Field at Kimbrough Memorial Stadium on Thursday afternoon.

Stratford cruised through the regular season, after earning the school’s 19th district championship.

Led by coach Matt Lovorn, the Elks compiled 517 offensive yards in the route while holding New Home to only 217 yards.

In one half of play, Stratford quarterback Walker McBryde and fullback Brit McQuitty combined for more total yards than the entire Leopard offense.

McBryde threw was near perfection going 11 of 12 for 174 yards, and McQuitty ran for 106 yards, totaling 280 yards between the Stratford duo. Moreso impressive, McQuitty totalled four touchdowns all in the first half against New Home on five carries.

The Elks will play either Farwell (7-3) or McCamey (3-7) in the area round. The Steers and Badgers face-off at 7 p.m. Friday night at Lamesa’s Tornado Stadium.

Stratford 69, New Home 18

Stratford 42 13 14 69

New Home 6 6 6 18

Longhorns blank Bobcats

Vega started the playoffs on the right foot dismantling Smyer in a 56-0 beating Thursday night at Greg Sherwood Memorial Bulldogs Stadium Plainview.

Ryan Grawunder wasted no time getting Vega on the board, returning the opening kickoff 78 yards for a touchdown. The Longhorns defense stepped it up on the ensuing Smyer drive recovering a fumble on the Bobcats first offensive play.

The Longhorns turned that miscue into points in two plays when Clay Gilter found the endzone for his first of two scores in the first quarter.

The Vega offense used its run game to dominate the rest of the way. Though he didn’t complete a pass in the win, quarterback Carson Kirkland made his presence felt with 99 yards rushing on five carries with two touchdowns. Vega’s Leading rusher Riley Tiemann, who had 10 carries on the night resulting in 103 yards and three touchdowns.

The Longhorns will play the Sudan (10-0) and Iraan (0-10) winner. Those two teams meet Friday night at 7 p.m. in Stanton.

Vega 56, Smyer 0

Vega 35 21 56


Class 2A Division I

Lions hold off Hornets

The New Deal Lions were pushed by Highland Park, but were able to keep the Hornets at arms legnth for a 39-24 win Thursday night in a Class 2A Division I bidistrict game in Dimmitt.

The Lions, the state runner-up from a year ago, move to 10-1 overall, advancing to the area round to play Hawley (11-0) at a time and place to be determined.

Highland Park ends a solid year at 5-6.

The Hornets were able to cut a 26-8 deficit down to Jason Champlin 6-yard run, followed by a two-point conversion with in 4:29 left in the fourth quarter.

Trailing, 32-16, Highland Park didn’t go away, trimming the lead back to eight on a Kenny Diaz 10-yard score, followed by another conversion with 3:32 left. However, the Lions sealed the game at the 1:08 mark with a Leric Eaton 14-yard run.

Eaton led the Lions with 167 yards with three touchdowns.

Diaz totaled 110 yards and a score for the Hornets.

New Deal 39, Highland Park 24

New Deal 7 6 6 6 20 39

H. Park 8 16 24

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