‍‍Elks vs Hawley/Christoval Winner

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‍‍‍UIL 2A Division 1 Playoff Bracke‍‍‍t‍‍‍

Stratford opens playoffs in style rolling Floydada 55-7
Nov 17,2017‍‍‍

Stratford 55, Floydada 7

Records: Stratford improves to 10-1. Floydada ends its season 4-7.

Noteworthy: Stratford allowed Floydada one first down in the first half.

Next Up: Stratford plays the winner of Friday’s Hawley-Christoval game in area.

Now that’s the way to start the Texas high school football playoffs.

Stratford sent the message early Thursday night it means business in the playoffs scoring touchdowns on its opening four possessions and smothering Floydada’s offense by allowing one first down in the first half.

That domination resulted in a 55-7 Stratford win in a Class 2A Division II bidistrict game at Dick Bivins Stadium.

Stratford used the fast to start building a 28-0 lead at halftime, used a 51-yard run by Abraham Villegas to go ahead 35-0, then iced the game 15 seconds into the fourth quarter when Shay Hess jumped a Floydada route and returned his interception 98 yards for a touchdown and a 41-0 lead.

Hess was everywhere on the night intercepting two passes and running for 65 yards on nine carries and scoring on runs in length of 12 yards and 1-yard.

“Our coaches preach on starting fast day-in and day-out, no matter who we are playing every week,” Hess said. “We have a blue line and when we cross that it’s go time. No matter where we go we have that blue line and that’s our mission.”

Certainly, mission accomplished by the Elks on both sides of the ball.

Floydada’s shotgun offense designed to run more than pass, never found a groove and opening the game with four straight three-and-outs.

Stratford’s defensive front, anchored in the middle by Noah Harris and ignited by hustling and physical outside rushers like Bronc Hodges, Luis Mendoza and Pedro Ortega, made life miserable for Floydada to move the ball.

Floydada had four yards of offense at halftime, and quarterback Andrew Vega was under pressure all game completing 4-of-16 passes for 46 and allowing three interceptions (two by Hess, one by Ortega).

“That was a great game plan by our coaches and our defensive line really stepped up,” Hess said. “I’m playing safety and I don’t even think I made a tackle. So I commend our freshman (linebacker) Britt (McQuitty) and defensive line.”

While Floydada had troubles on offense not taking in first offensive snap in Stratford territory until just under four minutes remained in the third, the Elks run-oriented offense moved all game.

Stratford had eight player combine to run for 375 yards led by Daniel DeCasas who had 134 yards on nine carries scoring twice on runs of 1 and 52 yards.

Elks quarterback Kade McBryde added 38 yards rushing opening the games’ scoring with 30-yard scamper ran up the middle less than two minutes into the game, then adding a 1-yard touchdown effort early in the second quarter for a 20-0 lead.

Floydada avoided the shutout with 4:04 remaining when Vega lofted a nice touch pass to Caden Britt for a 21-yard touchdown.

Stratford coach Matt Lovorn had nothing but praise for his team.

“Our defense came extremely ready to play,” Lovorn said. “We knew what their weapons were and we knew how to take it away. I thought our defense did a great job of coming out and starting fast like that.‍‍‍

“I’m really proud of the way the guys got this playoff run started and hopefully we can keep it going.”