Getting basic has worked extremely well so far for the Gruver Greyhounds through the first two rounds of the Class 2A Division II playoffs.
The Greyhounds seem to have relished the potentially physical nature of the postseason, as was evidenced during their area round game against Ralls on Thursday night at Happy State Bank Stadium. Gruver used a strong rushing game and kept Ralls from doing the same most of the evening to roll to a 49-6 win and advance to next week’s regional round.
There, Gruver (10-2) will take on Clarendon (9-3) at 2 p.m. next Friday in Borger.
The Greyhounds never seemed to be in trouble against Ralls (8-4), who tried to use the run-heavy Slot-T attack to play keep away from Gruver and did so with mixed success. That approach didn’t exactly catch the Greyhounds by surprise, and first-year Gruver coach Kurt Haberthur said his team was prepared for it.
“One hundred percent I think practice showed out there on the field,” Haberthur said. “They were hitting us with trap early and we were able to adjust at halftime to the formation they were doing that with. All week long the practice was good at staying on that. We used to run that offense at Perryton.”
While the Jackrabbits did run the ball respectably, they did little to keep Gruver’s defense off-balance, as their only pass completion of the game in the first half lost three yards. In fact, the Greyhounds kept Ralls out of the end zone, as the Jackrabbits scored defensively early in the fourth quarter.
That was one of the few offensive miscues on the night by Gruver, who effectively moved the ball the whole game.
The Greyhounds took the opening kickoff and scored quickly, as Briggs Satterfield hit Michael McCloy on a 31-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead. On their next possession, Walker Maupin scored the first of his two touchdowns of the half on a 5-yard run for a 14-0 lead.
Maupin ended the scoring with a 47-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, concluding a night in which he ran for a game-high 105 yards on 12 carries. That led a Gruver attack which ran for 302 yards, as two other runners, Satterfield (88 yards and a touchdown on nine carries) and Pratt McLain (70 yards and a touchdown on eight carries) both went for over 70 yards.
“We don’t want to be just a run team or just a pass team,” Haberthur said. “We have about 13 guys we try to get the ball to whether it’s throwing or running.”
Ralls used ball control to keep Gruver’s offense off the field for some stretches in the first half. That strategy worked well for the Jackrabbits but didn’t produce any points.
Gruver put together the most impressive drive of the half to close the half, as Maupin scored on a 4-yard run with 33 seconds left in the half for a 21-0 lead at intermission.
The Greyhounds led 35-0 early in the fourth quarter when the Jackrabbits got their only score, as Justin Zavala picked off an Ill-advised screen pass by Satterfield and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown as Ralls averted a shutout.
Other than that, Satterfield didn’t make any glaring mistakes. He threw for 126 yards and two touchdowns.
“I don’t know that you totally draw up playing after Thanksgiving your first year at a place, but these kids have totally bought in to everything that we’re selling to them,” Haberthur said. “They’ve learned everything, and we’ve put new stuff in every week and we’re able to execute that because we have smart kids who want to learn it.”
Clarendon smashes Seagraves
Clarendon kept up with its Texas Panhandle counterparts Wellington and Gruver making it a complete dismantling of South Plains squads on Thursday night.
The Broncos picked up a ninth straight win by sinking Seagraves thanks to a big first half 56-14 in a Class 2A Division II are round matchup at Tyer Stadium in Floydada.
The Broncos are now headed towards a showdown with Gruver (10-2) at 2 p.m., next Friday at Bulldogs Stadium in Borger.
Quarterback Lyric Smith continues his MVP push with another terrific performance. Offensively, the senior dual-threat went 14-of-19 for 251 yards with five touchdown passes and rushed for another 121 yards on 11 carries with three TDs. Smith also made five tackles on defense.
Mason Sims played a great compliment to Smith as a durable receiver snagging seven catches for 132 yards with three receiving touchdowns. Smith tacked on five tackles and a fumble recovery on defense.