Hamlin, Bangs advance at Bowl
Hamlin and Bangs ad-vanced to the next round of the state playoffs after winning Friday in an area-round playoff doublehea-der at Mustang Bowl.CLASS 1A, DIVISION IIHamlin 21, Eldorado 17Hamlin led 14-3 after three quarters, but the Pied Pipers found them-selves trailing 17-14 after Eldorado came up with two fourth-quarter touchdowns in the span of a little over three minutes.However, Hamlin came back and put together a nine-play drive, capped by a 9-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Lambert to River Hall, to score the winning points with 4:42 left in the game. The Pied Pipers (9-3) will now face No. 1-ranked Munday in the regional quarterfinals.Eldorado (7-4) took a 3-0 lead in the first quarter on a 29-yard field goal by Hector Reyes. But Hamlin’s defense held the Eagles scoreless after that until the fourth quarter, while building an 11-point advantage as Darrius Lee scored on a 2-yard run in the second period and Lambert hit paydirt on a 7-yard run in the third stanza.The Pied Pipers then came up with a goal-line stand to start the fourth quarter, only to see things fall apart in a short span of time after a pair of turnovers. First, Eldorado’s Jackson O’Harrow recovered a fumble in the end zone to cut the lead to 14-10. Then the Eagles’ Ruben Vasquez intercepted a Lambert pass and returned it 78 yards to set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Rico Martinez and give Eldorado a three-point edge with 8:31 left.Hamlin responded with a 10-play, 67-yard drive that produced the winning points, but had to survive one last scare when a punt was blocked by O’Harrow and recovered by the Eag-les at Hamlin’s 28-yard line with 45 seconds left.Eldorado immediately went for the winning TD, but a long pass by quar-terback Blaine Mitchell was intercepted by Ham-lin’s Caymon Georges to clinch the victory.Hamlin outgained Eldo-rado 223-189. The Eagles were in the playoffs for the first time since 2007.Hamlin — which finished the regular season as the runnerup in District 7-1A, Division II — will play a Munday team that defeated Wink 63-34 in its area round matchup.CLASS 2A, DIVISION IBangs 23, Idalou 6Bangs spotted Idalou an early 6-0 lead, then ran off 23 unanswered points to claim a surprisingly-easy win at the Bowl.The Dragons (9-3) trailed after a 41-yard run by Idalou’s Koal Houchin in the first quarter, but a 16-point second quarter put them in control.Bangs’ first scoring drive ended with Logan Dent’s 34-yard field goal, but the last three scoring drives all ended with touchdowns. Bangs took its first lead, 10-6, with 6:23 left in the half on a 35-yard pass from JT Newton to Matt Carter, then upped its advantage to 16-6 over Idalou on a 34-yard pass from Newton to Gabe Perez with 3:24 left. It came on the first play following an interception of a Wildcat pass by Andrew Quintana, one of three Dragon picks. Bangs got its final points when Cameron Deal caught a Newton TD pass in the third quarter. Newton finished with 162 yards on 10-0f-18 passing.Idalou (8-3) tried to rally, twice getting into scoring range in the final stanza, but it was turned back both times and a Carter interception with 2:23 left ended the Wildcats’ last scoring chance. Bangs’ defense limited Idalou to just 224 yards, including 23 passing. Bangs also became the first team to lead Idalou since Week 4 of the season when the Wildcats were defeated by Class 3A Shallowater 20-15.In addition, the Dragons have now won six straight games since a 57-20 loss to Wall in their second district game. The team will advance to take on Eastland (9-2) in the regional semifinals. East-land defeated Muleshoe, 48-34, on Friday.