Iraan beats Wellington for berth in 2A DII state final
Sports has long had a way of starting the healing process after tragedies, and Friday night was no different at Shotwell Stadium.
After seeing their cheerleader sponsor die in a car wreck last week, the Iraan Braves got back on the football field and clinched a spot in the Class 2A Division II state championship game with a 42-21 win over the Wellington Skyrockets.
The win was especially special for Iraan senior Steven Garlock whose aunt was killed in the wreck and his mom is still in a Lubbock hospital and has undergone multiple surgeries this week.
“Adversity is nothing that we haven’t had to go through,” Garlock said. “This week was tougher than it has been, but we powered through it and it is never going to stop us. (Aunt Liz Pope) loved this football team and loved each and every one of us more than anything. She was with us and up there watching us.”
Garlock added that his mom, Christina, made sure to stress to him that he didn’t need to worry and that football needed to be a priority.
Daryel Lozoya and Kyle O’Bannon each dominated one half of play to set Iraan (15-0) up with a 10 a.m. championship game appearance against Burton on Thursday. Burton defeated Bremond 50-31 in the other semifinal Friday night.
It’s Iraan’s first trip to the state championship game in 20 years.
Lozoya ran for 184 yards and three scores on just 13 carries, while O’Bannon had six carries for 83 yards and a touchdown while adding a score on the opening kickoff of the second half.
“Once we came out and scored to start the second half, we stuck the pole in the top of the hill and made our mark,” O’Bannon said. “We made sure that they were not going to catch up and beat us.”
Iraan outgained Wellington 357-345, despite the Skyrockets holding a 75-30 advantage in offensive plays.
After Iraan’s defense forced a three-and-out to start the game, Canon Andrews had a 43-yard touchdown catch on the Braves’ third offensive play for a 7-0 lead with 8:11 left in the opening quarter.
“We play physical football with a lot of heart and belief in each other,” Iraan coach Mark Kirchhoff said. “Our defense did a good job in getting the three-and-out and we had Canon over the middle. We don’t throw the ball a whole lot, but we can.”
After Wellington tied the game on a 13-yard catch by Andrew Rueda, Lozoya broke free for a 68-yard scoring run to put Iraan back on top at 14-7 with 3:02 left in the first quarter.
Camden Chaney broke up a fourth-down pass attempt in the end zone for the Braves, Lozoya capped a six-play drive with a four-yard scoring plunge for a 14-point lead with 6:00 left in the half.
Wellington closed to within a touchdown with 56 seconds left in the half when quarterback Luke Williams scrambled through the middle of the field for a 26-yard score.
The Braves wasted no time extending the lead as O’Bannon returned the opening kickoff of the second half 78 yards for a touchdown and a 28-14 lead.
After Kevin Benavides recovered a fumble at the Iraan 17, the Braves needed just five plays to score with O’Bannon racing down the right sideline for a 66-yard touchdown and a 35-14 lead with 4:17 left in the quarter.
After James Kilgore scored with 9:58 left, Lozoya scored with 1:35 to play to ice the game.
“We executed well in the veer game,” Kirchhoff said. “Wellington gave us a little bit of a problem with their six-man front, but it was a matter of time before we popped a couple and grinded it out.
“For us to come here and have the support that we did, the human spirit is alive and well. The win is great, but win or lose it was going to help our community.”CLASS 2A DIVISION II SEMIFINALSIRAAN 42
WELLINGTON 7 7 0 7 — 21
Iraan 14 7 14 7 — 42FIRST QUARTER
IRA — Carson Andrews 43 pass from Clayton Kent (Daryel Lozoya kick), 8:11
WEL – Andrew Rueda 13 pass from Luke Williams (Mauricio Herrera kick), 3:48
IRA – Lozoya 68 run (Lozoya kick), 3:02SECOND QUARTER
IRA – Lozoya 4 run (Lozoya kick), 6:00
WEL – Williams 26 run (Herrera kick), :56THIRD QUARTER
IRA – Kyle O’Bannon 78 kickoff return (Lozoya kick), 11:46
IRA – O’Bannon 66 run (Lozoya kick), 4:17FOURTH QUARTER
WEL – James Kilgore 1 run (Herrera kick), 9:58
IRA – Lozoya 45 run (Lozoya kick), 1:35 WEL IRA
First downs 21 12
Rushes-Yards 69-315 24-274
Passing 30 83
Comp-Att-Int 3-6-0 3-6-1
Punts 1-21 1-39
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 3-15 2-15INDIVIDUAL STATISTICSRUSHING:
Wellington: Jose Tellez 40-183, Luke Williams 16-91, James Kilgore 7-31, Arturo Tellez 5-5, Andrwe Rueda 1-5. Iraan: Daryel Lozoya 13-184, Kyle O’Bannon 6-83, Clayton Kent 5-7.PASSING:
Wellington: Williams 3-6-0-30 yards. Iraan: Kent 3-6-1-83 yards.RECEIVING:
Wellington: Rueda 2-27, John Holcomb 1-3. Iraan: Canon Andrews 2-74, O’Bannon 1-9..RECORDS:
Wellington 13-2, Iraan 15-0.http://www.reporternews.com/story/sport ... /95183372/