Whirlwinds make playoffs with exciting comeback win over Hale Center

The Floydada Whirlwinds punched their ticket to the playoffs with a 35-34 victory over the Hale Center Owls on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. (Screenshot/Floyd County Record)

FLOYDADA — The Floydada Whirlwinds have flipped the script and are headed to the playoffs after a thrilling 35-34 regular season finale victory over the Hale Center Owls at Charles Tyer Stadium Friday night.

Early in the second quarter at the 10:19 mark, Floydada’s season finale looked bleak when trailing to the Hale Center Owls 26-7. Hale Center had just scored following a blocked Whirlwind punt that was recovered at the two yard line.

The Whirlwinds would answer with an eight-play, 66-yard drive capped off by a 31-yard touchdown pass from Trace Glasscock to Aiden Trevino. Floydada had just reduced the margin to 26-14 with 5:25 to go until halftime. The Whirlwind defense then rose to the occasion, stopping the Owls at their 21-yard line when Hale Center did not punt on a fourth-and-4 situation. Floydada running back Izaiah Alvarado took advantage of some good blocks and cruised into the end zone on a 21-yard touchdown run that put the Whirlwinds back in the game, trailing only 26-21 at the 3:48 mark.

Hale Center then had a six-play possession that stalled out at Floydada’s 37-yard line. Each team would have the ball one more time apiece with no threats taking place. The two teams went to the locker room after slugging it out for two action-packed quarters with the Owls in front 26-21.

Following the break, Hale Center would march 87 yards on a time-consuming 10-play scoring drive on their initial possession of the third quarter. Sophomore quarterback Adam Beruman would get in the end zone on a 2-yard keeper, and then follow it with by running in a two-point conversion to get the Owls back to a double-digit lead of 34-21 with 4:33 remaining in the third quarter. It was back to the bleak feeling for the fans in green, but not the Whirlwind players. What the Whirlwinds pulled off in the fourth quarter was simply electric.

The final stanza had all of the ingredients of a great movie based on a true story. There was a senior quarterback (Glasscock) wanting to go out with a win and threw a beautiful 56-yard scoring strike to Jayson Cooper; a gritty junior running back/linebacker who played four positions for the Whirlwinds this season (Alvarado) that would score a touchdown with a 36-yard run; a freshman kicker (Leo Mendoza) that would go 4 for 4 extra point kicks, with the biggest being a pressure filled kick to put Floydada ahead for the first time 35-34; a fired-up defense that forced Hale Center into three straight three-and-out possessions; and then a dramatic interception by Alvarado at the goal-line to fight off the Owls with less than a minute left in the game.

“We had the will and want to, thanks to Coach Compton,” Izaiah Alvarado said in the KFLP postgame interview.

“I would say a pretty good Whirlwind came through this stadium in the fourth quarter. Tough times shows your character, and this team proved they have character. The good Lord does not promise a smooth passage, but promises a safe one,” explained coach Compton to the KFLP listeners.

The Whirlwinds survived to play another day with the 35-34 thrilling victory, earning the number four seed of District 2-2A-I. Floydada (3-7) will now face the Panhandle Panthers (5-5), champions of District 1-2A-I. Panhandle has a remarkable story of their own after being 0-5 entering district play, then winning the district title in a dramatic comeback over the Farwell Steers 36-35 in their next-to-last game. The Panthers are on a five-game winning streak going into the bi-district game at Younger Field in Tulia this Friday at 7 p.m.

Scoring Summary
Hale Center – 12  14  8  0 – 34
Floydada – 7  14  0  14 – 35

Records: Floydada (3-7, 2-3); Hale Center (3-7, 1-4)

First Quarter
HC – Adam Beruman 19-yd pass to Zedric Guerra (run fails)
HC – Beruman 39-yd pass to Guerra (run fails)
F – Trace Glasscock 25-yd pass to Phillip Rodriguez (Leo Mendoza kick)

Second Quarter
HC – Beruman 25-yd pass to Jacob Ortega (Martin Contreras run)
HC – Martin Contreras 2-yd run (run fails)
F – Glasscock 31-yd pass to Aiden Trevino (Mendoza kick)
F – Izaiah Alvarado 22-yd run (Mendoza kick)

Third Quarter
HC – Beruman 2-yd run (Beruman run)

Fourth Quarter
F – Alvarado 36-yd run (Mendoza kick)
F – Glasscock 56-yd pass to Jayson Cooper (Mendoza kick)

Team Stats
First Downs – 18
Total Offense – 417
Rushing – 179
Passing – 238
Penalties – 6-65
Punts – 4
Turnovers – 1

Hale Center
First Downs – 21
Total Offense – 362
Rushing – 200
Passing – 162
Penalties – 5-30
Punts – 3
Turnovers – 1

Individual Stats
Trace Glasscock – 238 yds. passing, 3 TD
Izaiah Alvarado – 173 yds. rushing, 2 TD, INT, TFL
Aiden Trevino – 5-57 yds. rec., TD
Jayson Cooper – 1-56 yds. rec., TD, 5 tackles
Phillip Rodriguez – 3-42 yds. rec., TD
Davian Ramos – 9 tackles
Andres Mendoza – 6 tackles
Ty Henderson – 6 tackles
Noe De Los Santos – 5 tackles
Adam Delgado – 5 tackles

District 2-2A-I Final Standings
1. New Deal – 5-0, 9-1
2. Sundown – 4-1, 7-3
3. Post – 3-2, 4-6
4. Floydada – 2-3, 3-7
5. Hale Center – 1-4, 3-7
6. Tahoka – 0-5, 0-10

2A-I Bi-District Playoffs
Floydada (3-7) vs. Panhandle (5-5) — Friday 7 p.m. at Tulia’s Younger Field
New Deal (9-1) vs. Olton (6-4) — Thurs. 4 p.m. at Floydada’s Charles Tyer Stadium
Sundown (7-3) vs. Sanford-Fritch (4-6) — Friday 7 p.m. at Lockney’s Mitchell-Zimmerman Stadium
Post (4-6) vs. Farwell (8-2) — Friday 7 p.m. at Levelland’s Lobo Stadium

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