Grandview helmet

ATHENS — Tatum gave two-time defending state champion Grandview all it could handle after falling behind by a couple of scores early, but in the end the No. 2 ranked Zebras notched a 49-23 win over the Eagles at Bruce Field to advance in the Class 3A Division I playoffs.

Grandview (11-0), winners of 37 of its last 38 games, moves on to face Malakoff in the third round next week. Tatum ends the season with an 8-2 record.

The Eagles never led on Friday, falling behind 14-0 in the opening quarter before making a game of it in the second stanza.

Dane Jentsch, the only player in the history of Texas high school football to win championship game offensive and defensive MVP honors twice, opened the scoring with a 3-yard run for the Zebras at the 8:09 mark of the first quarter.

Jentsch then hit Kason English on a 70-yard touchdown strike late in the period, and the Zebras led 14-0.

Tatum got on the board on a Kendric Malone TD pass to Kendall Williams at the 4:20 mark of the second quarter to cap a 4-play, 84-yard drive.

The teams traded blows the rest of the quarter, with Brycen Davis scoring on a 1-yard run for Grandview to add to its lead. Omar Rodriguez booted a 36-yard field goal for Tatum with under a minute to play, but Jentsch hit Gavin Leftwich on a 12-yard pass to end the first-half scoring and give Grandview a 28-10 halftime lead.

Tatum picked off a pass on the first play of the second half, with Dalone Fuller returning it to the 9-yard line. Malone scored from the 3 a few plays later, and the Eagles trailed 28-17 with 10:32 left in the third.

Grandview put things away with a 3-yard run by Jentsch and a 53-yard scoring sprint by Leftwich.

Tatum made it 42-23 late on an 8-yard run by Ty Hollins, but the Zebras closed things out with a 7-yard run by Davis with 30 seconds remaining to make the final 49-23.

TWITTER: @PhilHicksETFS

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