By Dave Wagner: CNJ sports writer
AMARILLO — Bovina didn’t win in its first playoff appearance in nine years, but the Mustangs earned some respect.
Outmanned by speed-laden Quanah, the Mustangs hung close by forcing four Indians fumbles Friday night before going down to a 19-8 loss in a Class 1A second-round game at Dick Bivins Stadium.
The Mustangs, who had a first-round bye, were outgained 345-168, but had a chance to pull ahead early in the fourth quarter when nose guard Frank Martinez recovered a Quanah fumble at the Indians’ 32.
Bovina gained one first down before stalling. The Indians responded with a 77-yard, nine-play drive to score the game-clincher on a 10-yard run by senior Simon Rodriguez with 2:44 left.
“They’re a good football team, but I know for a fact that all of us played our hearts out,” Bovina senior wide receiver-defensive end Michael Ortiz said. “I couldn’t ask for more from my team.”
Senior quarterback Bubba Claudrick, who carried 16 times for 107 yards, put Quanah in front 7-0 in the first quarter with a 67-yard punt return, but Bovina forced three fumbles in the half and went into the intermission with an 8-7 lead after a 31-yard touchdown pass from Trenton Quintana to Chris Heinzman and a two-point conversion pass from holder Michael Ortiz to Corn Ortiz with 2:31 left in the second quarter.
“We kept it together,” Michael Ortiz said. “Once we scored, we got a spark and our momentum was going. We knew we couldn’t let down at all.”
Bovina, held to two first downs in the half, put together a 10-play, 5 1/2-minute possession following the second-half kickoff before turning the ball over on downs at the Quanah 37. The Indians regained the lead on a third-and-20, 29-yard TD pass from Claudrick to senior end Adam Choat late in the third quarter.
Junior running back Matthew Hill rushed for 165 yards on 23 carries, and he and Claudrick were a tough combination for the Mustangs to contain.
“We hadn’t seen anybody with a (running) back and a quarterback like that all year,” Bovina coach Kent Torbert said. “For us, it was kind of pick your poison.
“But the kids played their hearts out. They played all year with a lot of confidence.”
The Indians, who advanced to the third round of the playoffs for the first time in four years, rolled up 295 rushing yards. Still, Quanah coach James McDaniel said the Mustangs caused problems.
“They were stunting everybody; they had more people coming than we could block,” McDaniel said. “That created a problem for us, but that’s no excuse for the fumbles.
“We didn’t think their offense was that good, but we thought their defense was outstanding. They weren’t very big, but they were quick and aggressive. Their defense was the best we’ve faced all year.”
Quanah 19, Bovina 8
Bovina 0 8 0 0 — 8
Quanah 7 0 6 6 — 19
Q — Bubba Claudrick 67-yard punt return (Vlad Pomomarenko kick), 3:21
B — Chris Heinzman 31-yard pass from Trent Quintana (Corn Ortiz pass from Michael Ortiz), 2:34
Q — Adam Choat 29-yard pass from Claudrick (kick blocked), 1:58
Q — Simon Rodriguez 10-yard run (pass failed), 2:44
First downs 8 20
Rushes-yards 33-86 43-295
Passing yards 82 50
Total yards 168 345
Comp-att-int 8-22-0 2-8-0
Punting 5-44.2 0-0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 4-4
Penalties-yards 5-25 5-35
Rushing — Bovina, Jacob Torbert 9-36, Quintana 10-34, Frank Martinez 5-8, Mauricio Garcia 9-8. Quanah, Matthew Hill 23-165, Claudrick 16-107, Rodriguez 3-26, Justin Wilson 1-minus 3.
Passing — Bovina, Quintana 7-21-0-87, M. Ortiz 1-1-0-minus 5. Quanah, Claudrick 2-8-0-50.
Receiving — Bovina, James Lara 3-31, Chris Heinzman 2-40, M. Ortiz 2-16, C. Ortiz 1-minus 5.
Records — Bovina 7-4, Quanah 9-2.