Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX


December 1, 2012

Zebras’ season ends with loss to Newton

BULLARD — For only the third time this season, the Grandview Zebras offense did something most teams have not been able to do against the No. 3-ranked Newton Eagles but it was not enough in the regional round of the Class 2A Division I playoffs at Panther Stadium Friday night.

The Eagles improved to 12-0 with a commanding 82-35 victory over the Zebras to end their season at 9-3. The most points Newton had allowed in a game all season was 17 points — only twice this season.

“I think we found some things out too late and we did some things early that we couldn’t do,” Grandview Coach Casey Walraven said. “It is all about execution against a team like Newton and we definitely didn’t do it early. I didn’t see some things early that I should’ve saw that we were able to see in the second half that got us going.”

The Zebras found themselves in a 41-7 deficit after the first 24 minutes of play as five different Newton players’ scored in the half.

The Eagles jumped out to a 7-0 lead on their first offensive play as sophomore running back Jace Thomas found a crease around the left side of the Grandview defense and blasted his way 79-yards untouched. Kevin Shorter booted the extra point.

The Zebras’ quickly found themselves in a 27-0 hole after a four-yard touchdown run by Kevin Shorter and a 24-yard pitch and catch from D.J. Dean — a University of Utah commit — to Keyaun Seastrunk. Dean then scored on a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown with 1:04 remaining in the first quarter.

The Eagles dominated both sides of the ball early on as their team speed proved too much for the Zebras.

Grandview was able to get on the scoreboard on a 16-yard touchdown run by sophomore Jordan Martinez with 10:08 remaining in the first half.

Newton again took advantage of their speed and athleticism scoring 21 unanswered points as Shorter scored from three and four yards out. Brandon Johnson also scored from a yard out to put the game out of reach.

Grandview cut the Newton lead to 48-14 with three minutes remaining in the third quarter on a 13-play, 63-yard drive as Colby Lee hauled in a 22-yard touchdown reception from senior Ryan Breton. The touchdown was scored on a fourth and 10 play, their second fourth-down conversion on that drive.

“We are all based on rhythm on offense and we got it in the second half. In the first half we didn’t and we put our defense in a few binds there,” Walraven said.

Grandview had two more touchdown runs from Martinez on scores of three and 12 yards, and a 32-yard trick play as Lee found Breton along with the left sideline with 8:21 remaining in the contest.

Martinez led the way for the Zebras with 18 carries for 155 yards and three touchdowns. Breton wrapped up his high school career throwing for 243 yards on 19-of-46 completions with three interceptions.

Both teams’ combined for over 900 yards of total offense as Newton outgained Grandview 457 to 444 yards.

Newton was led by Dean with eight carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw for 71 yards on 5-of-7 completions.

Walraven said his players will take advantage of the offseason to build on an area championship season in his first year at the helm.

“We are going to go to work and not take any time off and get back to what we were doing,” Walraven said. “We will strap it back on next year and we are going to keep getting stronger in the weight room.

“We got a couple of holes to fill and we got some work to be done. We are going to get there because of the kids’ work and dedication that they put in every year.”

Newton faces the Franklin Lions — a 49-30 winner over the Tatum Eagles — in the Class 2A Division I quarterfinals next week.

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