Stratford pulls away from Stamford to advance in 2A Division I playoffs


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Stratford beat Stamford 22-7 in the Class 2A Division II area round on Friday night. [Provided photo]
The Stratford Elks were able to use a big fourth quarter to get past a talented Stamford team 22-7 during a Class 2A Division II game on Friday night at First United Park at Lubbock-Cooper High School.

After an early exit a year ago, the Elks (12-0) move on to the regional semifinal to take on New Deal (9-3) at 6 p.m. on Friday at Dick Bivins Stadium.

The Elks and Bulldogs were tied, 7-7, at halftime and into the fourth quarter. Stratford finally took momentum going on a 12-play 80-yard drive that resulted in a four-yard QB keeper from Bryce Braden putting Stratford up 13-7 with eight minutes to play. Stratford then went up 15-7 following a two-point conversion on a pass from Omar Jacquez to Julio Valdez.

After a quick Stamford three-and-out, Stratford’s offense put together a put away drive using six minutes of clock going 65-yards in 15 plays to score a huge insurance touchdown within the final minute of the game on a Braden pass to Chase Lantelme.

The Elks defense was stellar in the fourth quarter holding the Bulldogs to only three plays.

Braden ended the game piling up 174 yards rushing on 30 carries with two touchdowns. He also threw for 103 yards with another score. Lantelme was key on offense as well with 39 yards receiving on three catches with a TD. Defensively, Lantelme had a great outing with five tackles and an interception. Braden tallied 12 tackles. Stratford limited Stamford to 157 total yards.

In two other 2A Division I area games, defending state champion Hawley eliminated Panhandle for the second year in a row, 59-16. The Panthers end a great year at 10-2. Farwell also saw its season end at the hands of Sonora 42-14. The Steers end the year at 9-3.

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