Clarendon edges Gruver 34-32 in thrilling Class 2A Division II regional semifinal
As expected, Gruver and Clarendon lived up to the billing with the Broncos pushing their way toward destiny for yet another week.
Clarendon made big plays at crucial times that propelled Clarendon to a 34-32 victory in one of the better regional semifinals across the state on Friday afternoon at Bulldogs Stadium in Borger.
The Broncos (10-3) Cinderella story continues. From a team that started 0-3 under first-year head coach Aaron Wampler to now 10 straight wins and punching a ticket to the Class 2A Division II state quarterfinals for the first time since 2017.
Clarendon took advantage of turnovers early in the game to jump on Gruver 22-7 with five minutes to play in the half.
However, Gruver (10-3) didn’t flinch getting back in the contest on a fourth and goal touchdown from quarterback Briggs Satterfield, then connected on a wheel route from Satterfield to Walker Maupin of 30-yards that brought the deficit to 22-19 by halftime.
Clarendon responded to open the third quarter behind its workhorse Lyric Smith. Smith once again was a game changer in this entire clash. Smith extended the Broncos lead to 28-19 on a two-yard QB sweep with 6:34 left in the third.
But once again the Greyhounds responded. Satterfield called his own number from 12-yards on the ensuing drive as Gruver closed the gap by to two points, 28-26.
In the fourth quarter, Clarendon jumped back out up eight when Smith delivered a pass down the sideline to Quay Brown who beat a Greyhound defender for a 32-yard pitch and catch. That score put Clarendon back up eight 34-26 with 9:31 left int the game.
Gruver, like they had the entire way, roared back on a Colt Mathews touchdown run pushing the deficit back to two points. But two points was the key word for Gruver in this game as the Greyhounds went 0-for-3 on two-point conversions including their final touchdown in the 34-32 loss.
The Greyhounds had one final chance getting a interception at their own four-yard line with under a minute to play. But on the first offensive play of the final drive, Gruver fumbled trying for a miracle hook-and-ladder securing the win for the Broncos.
Gruver, playing without senior captain Pratt McLain, had four big turnovers and had a hard time stopping Smith like most teams have this year.
Smith was called upon 39 times to carry the ball by Wampler and delivered rushing for 239 yards with two rushing scores and overcame three interceptions to throw for 127 yards with two passing TDs and had a receiving score.
Satterfield finished the game for the Greyhounds with 78 yards rushing and passing for 167 yards with a combined four touchdowns.
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