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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Grandfalls-Royalty overcomes adversity in playoffs - Odessa American: Sports

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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Grandfalls-Royalty overcomes adversity in playoffs

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Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2018 4:58 pm

In the fast-paced, high-scoring landscape that is six-man football, a team sometimes must overcome adversity to survive a grueling shootout.

With nine seconds left on the clock and on the brink of elimination, the Grandfalls-Royalty Cowboys came together in the fourth quarter to erase a 13-point deficit in its regional round playoff.

The Cowboys scored from nine yards out on fourth down to defeat Lueders-Avoca, 65-60, to advance to the Class 1A Division II regional quarterfinals after being eliminated in the bi-district round last season.

Grandfalls-Royalty (10-2) meets Jayton at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Eagle Stadium in Sterling City.

“Great level of trust in each other. Great level of determination,” Grandfalls-Royalty head coach Joe Helms said about his team’s victory. “At no time did they feel like we were going to get beat.

“At no time did we have breakdowns or point fingers, or anything like that.

“When you run into adversity I think that they still believe, still executed. In fact, I think their intensity increased as the game went on, and that’s kind of what made the difference.”

After capturing its first district title since 2013, Grandfalls-Royalty has gradually improved on both sides of the ball over the course of the season, which has helped it put together a seven-game winning streak.

“We had a couple of injuries this year. We battled through them. We kept on playing aggressive,” junior linebacker Oscar Huertas said. “We didn’t really slow down and then when we got people back it added to our progress, but I think we’re doing pretty good.

“I think we’ll come out pretty fired up this week. We’re gonna have to come out aggressive, can’t come out slow. This is a very aggressive team. We don’t really give up.

“We just keep on playing. We never put our heads down. There’s four quarters in the game for a reason. We just don’t stop, we keep coming at them.”

It’s been five years since the Cowboys last made their magical run to the state title game where they defeated Milford.

Advancing to the next round would be a big accomplishment for this squad.

“It’d mean a lot because we have a bunch of young kids on this team. It’d be great,” senior quarterback Jerry Lee Cadena said. “We just keep motivating them in practice. We keep putting it in their head that they could do great things if we just keep working together. 

“We’re getting better every week. We try our hardest in practice and hope when it comes game time that it shows.”

Jayton has outscored its last two opponents 128-24 while Grandfalls-Royalty has averaged 67.7 points in its last seven games.

Lately, the Cowboys have begun to find their identity on offense at the right time. 

“I think fairly midway through the season is when we kind of got our offense in gear,” Helms said. “We’re very confident in it and rightfully so the kids are playing hard and they believe we can adjust enough to be balanced enough to whatever the defense is giving us.

“I think that confidence has been there for definitely the second half of the season and through the playoffs. I just think defensively we kind of realized the level of effort that it would take to be successful.”

>> Follow Peter Dindinger on Twitter @OA_PDindinger

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