The Farwell Steers are enjoying a banner season in 2010. At 10-1, they’ve reached the third round of the Texas Class 1A Division II playoffs, and during District 3-1A competition, they ended a five-game losing streak to rival Bovina.
Not that it was easy. The Steers fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter before rallying past the Mustangs 20-14 on Oct. 8 at Bovina.
Guess who stands in Farwell’s way in its bid for a trip to next week’s regional final? Yep, it’s Bovina (7-5), which has become a healthier team in recent weeks, winning four in a row after a five-game losing streak.
What’s more, the Steers will be without senior running back-linebacker Colby Read, probably for however long they’re in the playoffs. He suffered a knee injury in Friday’s 27-7 win over Wheeler.
“We’ll have to adjust and have some kids step up,” first-year Steers coach Mike Prokop said.
He said sophomore Collin Christian would move into the fullback position, with senior Lincoln Devault going from fullback to Read’s halfback slot. Senior Kolten Morris will start for Read on defense.
Both teams appear to be playing well entering today’s 7:30 p.m. (CST) clash at Kimbrough Stadium in Canyon. While Farwell had a first-round bye as the district champion, the Mustangs have won twice in the playoffs, routing Smyer 44-20 and cruising past White Deer 32-18.
“I didn’t think we’d see each other again,” said Bovina coach Hector Guevara, whose team has made five trips to the playoffs in six years but never before had gotten past the first round. “It’s kind of sad one of us has to lose.”
The Mustangs have relied on senior tailback Desmond Fox much of the season, but he had a relatively quiet game last week with 50 yards on nine carries. Instead, junior Rolando Perez and sophomore Andrew Marrufo combined for nearly 300 yards on the ground and senior quarterback Dorian Vela scored twice, including an 83-yard run.
“Desmond can go the distance, and so can the other kid, 42 (Perez),” Prokop said. “They’re just executing at a high level.
“We’re just going to have to control them, and not spot them 14 points.”
Guevara said both teams have enough athletes to make things happen.
“We have to stop their big plays,” he said. “Last time we jumped on them early, but we gave up a big play, which gave them hope.”
The winner will face either Plains (11-0) or another District 3-1A team, Springlake-Earth (11-1), in the regional finals next week. Those teams play on Friday at Lubbock.
“It’s a testament to our district, how tough it is, with three of us still in it,” Prokop said.