SPRINGTOWN -- The Graham Steers looked like a team on a mission Friday night, scoring on all but one possession en route to a 42-28 win over the Glen Rose Tigers in the area round of the Class 3A Division II playoffs.
Junior running back Dillon Gonzales had a huge night for Graham (11-1), rushing for 182 yards and four touchdowns.
With the exception of three deep passes to leading receiver, Justin Weatherly, the Glen Rose offense was largely ineffective for much of the first half. Fortunately for the Tigers (10-2), all three plays led to scores. The last reception, a 47-yarder, set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Cody Burtscher with 34 seconds remaining in the first half to cut Graham's lead to 28-21 at halftime.
Burtscher, the Tigers' leading rusher on the season, only saw limited action after being injured last week against Brownwood.
"Having [Burtscher] on the sidelines was huge for us," Graham coach Kenny Davidson said. "You have to have a lot of things go your way to succeed in the playoffs. We've been lucky to stay healthy so far."
The Steers' offense opened the second half with a 70-yard drive that took less than three minutes, and was capped by a Gonzales touchdown run for a 35-21 Graham lead.
Gonzales eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing on the season with his big night.
"I'm really proud of my O-line," Gonzales said. "There were holes everywhere tonight and they've been doing that for me all season."
Glen Rose rallied with 9:32 to go in the fourth quarter but an interception by Jerrod Mahan at the Steers' 1-yard line put an end to the drive as well as the Tigers' playoff run.
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