Grapevine only rushed for seven yards on 11 carries in the first half, but it didn’t matter.
Mustang quarterback Cade Rhodes was on fire as Grapevine piled up 358 passing yards before the break on its way to a 34-14 drubbing of Crowley in a Class 5A Division I bi-district game Thursday at Midlothian ISD Stadium.
Grapevine (9-2) will advance and play Amarillo Caprock (8-3), a 42-17 winner over El Paso Eastlake, in the area round on Friday, Nov. 23, at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls at time to be determined.
Rhodes was stellar completing 19-of-23 passes in the first half, two of which were dropped, with touchdown passes of 9, 14, and 2 yards to three different receivers to build a 27-0 lead at intermission. Rhodes also had pass plays of 45, 49, 84 and 58 yards that didn’t go for scores.
“There was a lot open for us and our receivers did a great job after the catch to get a lot of yards, “said Rhodes, who wound up with 437 passing yards completing 25-of-31. “We have a lot of depth at receiver and they all do a great job of getting open.”
Crowley (7-4) never really mounted a threat. The Eagles punted six times and loss the ball on downs once in its first seven drives as Grapevine was building a 34-0 lead.
David Clayton, Jack Ertz, and Seth Texada were Rhodes’ favorite targets out of the seven wide outs that caught passes. Clayton had 10 catches for 84 yards and a nine-yard scoring reception. Ertz and Texada had four receptions each for 164 and 86 yards respectively.
Game was over when: After Crowley had driven from its own 32 to the Grapevine 21, the Eagles lost the ball on downs trailing 14-0. The Mustangs scored seven plays later to take a 21-0 lead with 4:38 left in the first half. The Eagles punted on their next series as well just to have Rhodes hit Ertz with an 84-yard gain. The play set up a two-yard scoring pass from Rhodes to Jacob Edwards with 19 seconds left in the second quarter.
Play of the game: Cade Rhodes hit Jack Ertz across the middle. Ertz broke loose and almost outran the secondary for a score, but was caught at the four yard line. Ertz caught a 58-yard pass from Rhodes on the second snap of the second half, but was tackled on the one, setting up a six-yard TD run by Roshawn Prear after a procedure penalty.
Offensive player of the game: Rhodes, no question. 437 passing yards to seven different receivers.
Defensive player of the game: It was hard to single out a defensive player for the Mustangs as the defense swarmed the ball all night. Crowley had 14 carries for 36 yards rushing and 97 total yards in the first half.
Unsung hero of the game: Grapevine receiver David Clayton did have one nine-yard scoring reception, but no really long receptions. He did have 10 catches on the night for 84 yards and was Rhodes’ go-to player.
What’s next? Grapevine will advance to the area round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs and face Amarillo Caprock (8-3) at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls on Friday, Nov. 23. The time has yet to be set. Crowley’s season is over.