LUBBOCK — The Farwell Steers found themselves in a lonely huddle at midfield Friday night just moments after dropping their regional championship game in the Class 1A Division II Texas high school state playoffs against District 3-1A rival Springlake-Earth 34-0, a team the Steers defeated 35-32 just weeks ago.
Amid a Gatorade shower going about 30 yards away at Lubbock’s Lowery Field, Farwell coach Mike Prokop and his assistants gave their last talk of the season. The coaches talked how much they loved their players and how they were going to take a lot from their successful 11-2 season, just three wins shy of a state title.
“It’s difficult to play someone and beat them twice,” Prokop said as his players made their way to their parents after one last huddle break. “We knew what we had to do and we just didn’t get it done. We had some opportunities, didn’t do it and they did.
“They’re a great football team and it’s just a great representation of our district, two teams coming out of it. I wish them the best of luck.”
Springlake-Earth (13-1) got the best of the Steers, mostly on the ground, outgaining the Steers 255 yards to 68 yards.
Wolverines running back Anthony Carrasco ran for 125 yards on 25 attempts, while running back Devin Johnson had 80 yards on the ground on 15 carries and quarterback Blake Betz chipped in another 74 yards.
Betz also completed 8-of-9 passes for 139 yards.
Farwell was led by quarterback Landry Actkinson with 100 yards through the air and 23 on the ground.
Farwell started the game strong and forced a Springlake-Earth punt on the game’s opening possession. On the Steers’ fifth play, however, running back Caleb Christian was stripped of the ball after 9-yard reception from Actkinson, and the fumble was recovered by Springlake-Earth.
It was the first of four turnovers by the Steers, and three of the turnovers were committed in the red zone or just outside of it.
On the ensuing possession, Springlake-Earth drove 75 yards for Carrasco’s first touchdown of the night.
The teams traded possessions to end the first quarter, but the Wolverines got on the board midway through the second quarter thanks to a 12 yard Carrasco run with an eight-play 72 yard drive.
Things really started falling apart when the Steers were forced into a three-and-out just after Springlake-Earth’s second touchdown, and the Wolverines scored again on a 4-yard run by Betz for a 21-0 halftime lead.
Farwell got the ball to start the second half and a return by Caleb Christian set the Steers up at the Springlake-Earth 46 yard line. Unfortunately for Farwell, the drive stalled on a turnover on downs at the Springlake-Earth 22 yard line.
The turnover on downs set the Wolverines up for a 76-yard touchdown drive for a 28-0 lead and Springlake-Earth sealed the deal with an early touchdown in the fourth quarter for the 34-0 lead.
“These kids have overcome all adversities through their whole high school career and I’m proud of them,” Prokop said. “Even though we got beat, we got beat by a good team. You can’t take that away from them. Now we start the next sport and we do the best we can with that sport. I hope that they learned how to compete and live life and just do what they have to do to compete.”