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Sophomore C.J. Crauthers (No. 10) makes a tackle during San Marcos Academy's playoff win over Midland Trinity. Photo by Becky Crauthers, submitted by Shelley Henry

Bears defeat Chargers in Regionals, advance to state Semifinal

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

San Marcos Academy earned a win over Midland Trinity on Friday in the Regional rounds of the TAPPS Six Man Division I playoffs, 93-46.

The teamgot off to a competitive start, with the Chargers establishing a 22-16 lead over the Bears. But SMA came back in the second quarter to take a 40-30 edge at halftime and pulled away in the third, going up 72-32. The Bears held the lead in the fourth to take the 93-46 win.

Junior quarterback Mitchell Howard threw for 245 yards and five touchdowns. Senior Chizi Efobi caught three passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns, followed by senior Inake Infante-Valenzuela with four catches for 90 yads and two TDs and sophomore C.J. Crauthers with two catches for 26 yards and a score. SMA was also extremely effective running the ball, with Efobi taking nine carries for two touchdowns, junior Cole Krackau taking seven carries for 79 yards and two TDs, Howard taking eight carries for 65 yards and two touchdowns and senior Jacob Hammack getting into the end zone with two carries for 37 yards.

"Junior Blanco had a great game blocking and made some big plays defensively," assistant coach Toby Wade said. "Cole and Chizi had great defensive games as well, and inaki got a big interception.  The difference maker was special teams, we recovered three onside kicks.

"Proud of these guys, we just keep responding to adversity, they understand the 'next man up' idea.  We again had a few key players that left the game with injuries, along with sitting out a key player recovering from an injury suffered last week and limiting snaps on another starter due to an injury."

The Bears now advance to the Semifinal round, where they'll take on district foe Austin Veritas Academy on Friday at 7 p.m. inside San Marcos Toyota Rattler Stadium. SMA will be looking for a different result than the team's first meeting on Oct. 22 in which the Defenders took a 64-44 win.

San Marcos Record

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