Mineral Wells Area News

HOUNDS UNLEASHED: Explosive third quarter sends Strawn into playoffs

HOUNDS UNLEASHED: Explosive third quarter sends Strawn into playoffs
November 04
16:13 2023


Special to Mineral Wells area News

STRAWN – The Strawn Greyhounds exploded for five third-quarter touchdowns Friday that propelled them to a 70-24 win over Gold-Burg and into the playoffs.

The loss knocked the Bears out of the playoffs – just as they did to Strawn a year ago. After playing District 8-1A-2 champ and Top 10-ranked Newcastle tough in a 78-74 loss last week, many looked at Gold-Burg as a team with a good shot at defeating Strawn. Newcastle had its way with Strawn just a couple of weeks ago.

But the Greyhounds made sure Gold-Burg didn’t end their season two years in a row. Strawn mercy-ruled the Bears with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter. They will now face Throckmorton, the winners of District 7-1A-2, in a bi-district contest Friday night in Breckenridge. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

“Our backs were against the wall,” said Strawn Head Coach Dewaine Lee after Friday’s win. “Our kids played good. They did a good job.”

Leading 32-16 to begin the third quarter, Strawn opened the second half with a three-play scoring drive. The first play was a 36-yard pass from Kaison Nunez to David Yanez that gave the Hounds a first-and-goal at the 14. Two plays later, Nunez hit Jesse Corona for a 17-yard score and a 38-16 lead.

As they did to start the game, the Greyhounds recovered the ensuing onside kick. That resulted in a second-down, cut-and-slash 23-yard touchdown run by Michael Barcenas. Robert Hinkson’s two-point kick made it 46-16 just two minutes into the second half.

The Bears answered with a 47-yard scoring pass to pull back to within 46-24.

No problem for the Greyhounds. They had their own answer. The Bears attempted an onside kick that was gathered and returned by Hinkson to the Bears’ 23. He capped it off two plays later with a 21-yard romp to the end zone and a 54-24 Strawn lead.

The Bears went four-and-out on their next possession that ended with a fourth-down fumble, recovered by Strawn at the Gold-Burg 28. Two plays later Barcenas pulled off a 23-yard scoring run that began with a sweep to the right before he juked and turned, running to the left and into the end zone for a 62-24 lead.

The Hounds ended the game late in the third on a Jesse Corona 35-yard run, coming on the first play after the Strawn defense forced the Bears to turn the ball over on downs.

Lee said the Hounds’ third quarter fury wasn’t the result of any halftime adjustments.

“We’re just getting better. It’s just about getting better,” he said.

Strawn opened the game with an onside kick recovery that set up an 8-yard touchdown run for Barcenas. The Bears turned the ball over on downs on their first possession. That led to a five-play drive that ended with Hinkson bulling his way to the end zone and an early 16-0 Strawn advantage.

Gold-Burg tightened the affair with a 30-yard touchdown strike on the first play of the second quarter to pull to within 16-8.

Strawn answered with a nine-play, 65-yard drive finished off with a 4-yard scoring run on fourth down by Yanez to go up 24-8.

Barcenas, a first-half workhorse for Strawn, scored again, this time on a 27-yard sweep, to make it 32-8 in the Hounds’ favor. The Bears responded with a 34-yard touchdown run just before halftime to make it 32-16 going into the break.

Knowing they would play the winner, Throckmorton coaches attended the game and made their presence known on the field afterward. Throckmorton completed their regular season Thursday night with a 56-6 win over Rule.

In the aftermath of Friday’s win, Lee said he didn’t know what his Greyhounds can expect from the opposing Greyhounds.

“I have no idea,” he said. “I haven’t even watched them.”

The Hounds were going to enjoy the win Friday night, then go to work Saturday morning preparing for their return to the playoffs, missing post-season last year after coming off their fifth state title in 2021.

“It’s the same thing. It’s week by week and getting better. We’re just here trying to get better,” Lee said.


No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment