ROYSE CITY — Gladewater continued to defy the odds, taking down previously unbeaten Gainesville 24-17 in the Class 3A Division II regional playoffs at Royse City ISD Stadium on Saturday.
The win pushed Gladewater (7-6) to the state quarterfinals against Argyle at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Kincaide Stadium in Dallas.
On Friday, Argyle took a 45-38 win over Gilmer, a district foe of Gladewater in District 16-3A, from which the Bears had to win on the final day to sneak into the playoffs as the fourth-place team.
Gilmer is the only 16-3A playoff team to have been knocked out. Chapel Hill and Kilgore will play on Friday at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
With Gladewater leading 18-7 in the fourth quarter, Gainesville used a 30-yard field goal from Hector Sagrero to cut the score to 18-10 with 7:41 remaining. The Leopards moved the ball to the 2, but a false start and a tackle for a loss by Kenneth Gossett forced Gainesville to settle for the three points.
When Gladewater got the ball back, it used more than six minutes of the game clock, running the ball on 13 straight plays and capping it off with a 27-yard run by James Reese to make the score 24-10 with 1:16 remaining.
Gainesville didn't go away, though. Adam Berryman returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards to the end zone to make it a 24-17 game. The Leopards tried an onside kick, but the ball bounced out of bounds just over the head of Demetrius Franklin.
The Bears ran the ball four straight times and a 3-yard run by Daylon Mack on fourth-and-1 in the final seconds put Gladewater into the fourth round for the first time since 2001 — the last year Gladewater won a playoff game.
Mack rushed for 68 yards on 16 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter. As a team, the Bears had 269 yards on the ground on 64 attempts by seven different players. Reese had 88 yards on 19 carries and freshman Darnell McKnight had 51 yards on 12 attempts.
While Gladewater had no trouble running the football, Gainesville (11-1) struggled to get anything going offensively after getting two first downs on its opening possession. Berryman, who entered the game with 1,869 yards rushing, was held to minus-2 yards in the first half and 44 yards on 10 carries in the game.
The Leopards were limited to 48 rushing yards on 25 carries as Mack, Gossett and the rest of the Gladewater defense made things difficult for Gainesville the entire game.
Gladewater took a 6-0 lead with a 6-yard run by Justice Centers late in the first quarter and added to it with Mack's scoring run in the second quarter to make it 12-0.
Gainesville's Jonathan Mendez recovered a fumble deep in Gladewater territory and the Leopards got their third first down of the half to set up a 9-yard scoring pass from Mason Copeland to Devin Mims to cut the score to 12-7. Gainesville was held to just three first downs in the first half and 24 yards — three on the ground.
Gladewater (7-6) used exactly seven minutes on its opening drive of the second half and scored on a 12-yard pass from Nick Canaguier to Centers to stretch the lead to 18-7.
Canaguier was 3 of 6 for 29 yards and the score, completing 3 of 4 passes in the second half.
A&M Consolidated 45, Longview 35
MIDLOTHIAN — Longview fell to College Station A&M Consolidated 45-35 on Saturday, the second straight year the Lobos' season came to an end in the third round of the Class 5A Division II playoffs at Midlothian ISD Multi-Purpose Stadium.
Longview's season ended at 11-1. The Tigers (10-2) will face Lake Travis next week.
After a back-and-forth shootout in the opening half, a disastrous third quarter plagued the Lobos with two turnovers resulting in points for Consolidated. It marked the second straight year that opposing defenses took advantage of Lobos miscues, with Austin Westlake turning in three defensive scores to end the Lobos' 2012 campaign on the same turf.
Longview took the ball to start the second half trailing 28-21 before a pick-six from the Tigers gave them a two-score advantage early in the third quarter.
Longview answered with a quick scoring drive to make it a one-possession game.
The Lobos' hopes were high as they recovered the following kickoff on a designed squib kick but disaster was waiting once again for Longview.
A high snap on fourth-and-two resulted in Consolidated's second defensive score of the third quarter, putting the Tigers ahead 42-28 with 4:37 left in the third quarter.
Consolidated rolled up 334 yards in the first half behind a strong showing from senior quarterback Kobe Miller, who had 273 passing yards and three scores in the opening half. He finished 22 of 26 for 309 yards for the Tigers.
Dezmond Chumley finished with 215 yards passing and three touchdowns for Longview. Texas commit Dorian Leonard hauled in six passes for 79 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown. Chris Pellum had a 62-yard score and Jordan Whitaker had a catch-and-run touchdown reception from 14 yards out for Longview.
JaMycal Hasty led the ground attack, finishing with 177 yards and touchdown bolts of 24 and 26 yards.
Defensively, Laurent Johnson brought down two first-half interceptions and scooped an Eagle fumble for Longview.
Consolidated opened the contest with a six-play, 75-yard march with Miller finding KJ Dukes for a 46-yard score.
Johnson hauled in a pass from Miller on the Eagles' second possession, setting up a 24-yard touchdown from Hasty to knot the contest after the first quarter. Johnson brought down his sixth interception of the season on the Eagles' ensuing drive and the Lobos took their lone lead of the night on Chumley's 14-yard strike to Whitaker.
Tyri Merchant sparked 21 unanswered points for Consolidated on a 7-yard run. Miller had touchdown passes of 52 and 22 around two three-and-outs for Longview.
Chumley found Pellum amidst two Eagles defenders and the senior turned upfield for a 62-yard score to pull Longview to within a touchdown heading into halftime.
Hasty added a 26-yard score between Consolidated's two defensive touchdowns and Longview's fourth three-and-out of the night put the Eagle offense on the field for the first time in the second half with 2:25 left in the third quarter.
Johnson recovered an Eagles fumble with 11:54 to go in the contest, but the Lobos offense failed to capitalize with a three-and-out.
Consolidated chewed up close to seven minutes off the game clock on a 12-play, 71-yard drive, ending with a 21-yard field goal to extend the Eagles' lead to 45-28 with 4:12 to play.
Leonard made a leaping catch in traffic in the end zone for Longview's final touchdown of the season for the 45-35 final.