Hunter Long, No. 6 Cisco roll past Stamford to open football playoffs
CLYDE — As it turned out, the first play of Thursday's playoff opener was a preview of things to come.
Cisco quarterback Hunter Long ran for a 63-yard touchdown on the game's first snap, part of six scores the sophomore accounted for in the Loboes' 70-32 rout of Stamford in a Class 2A Division I bi-district game at Bulldog Stadium.
Long finished with 271 yards and four TDs on 17 carries, adding 124 passing yards and two more scores through the air. He completed 4 of 5 attempts with one interception.
The big night came on the heels of Long's 209-yard rushing performance against then-No. 6 San Saba. Similar to Thursday, Cisco (8-3) jumped out to an early lead in trouncing the Armadillos 48-6.
"Same thing as last week. He's just grown," first-year Loboes coach Kevin Stennett said of Long. "He's gotten so much better. Just week to week, gotten so much better. Hopefully he's going to have a couple more weeks to make more progress."
Long did all of his damage in the first half as Cisco built a 49-18 lead. The No. 6 Loboes scored on their first seven possessions, four of which were two plays or fewer.
Cisco finished with 499 rushing yards, showing a significant advantage in the trenches.
"We told our kids how physical they were going to be," Stamford coach Ronnie Casey said, "because of tradition, because of who it is... That's exactly what I expected: for them to beat us at the punch...
"We just didn't have an answer for them. We couldn't tackle."
The Loboes built a 14-0 advantage 47 seconds into the game. Stamford (5-6) punted on the ensuing drive but maintained possession after recovering a muffed punt. The Bulldogs got on the board with an 8-yard TD pass from Zhawn Holden to Bryson Holt on fourth down.
Stamford hung around, pulling within 21-12 late in the opening quarter, but couldn't stop the Loboes rushing attack.
► Turning point: Cisco needed less than a minute to take control Thursday. After four plays — Long's opening scamper, a lost fumble by Stamford and a two-play scoring drive — the Loboes led 14-0. The Bulldogs didn't get closer than eight points the rest of the way.
► Player of the game: Hunter Long, quarterback, Cisco — The sophomore wasn't fazed by the playoff spotlight. Long had 17 carries for 271 yards and four TDs, going 4 of 5 passing for 124 yards and two scores.
► Key stat: The Loboes ran for 499 yards. Jerrod Fisher chipped in 147 yards, while Andrew Acosta added 69 yards after taking a majority of the second-half carries. Each scored twice on the ground. Fisher also had an 84-yard TD reception.
► Coach Casey said: "(Cisco) is a good football team, and they're going to do great things. And I knew that when they dropped down into our division. I expected them and Post to have a collision in the regional finals, and I still believe that."
► Coach Stennett said: "That's what we always talk about: coming out hot. At times this year we haven't, and it just kind of leads to a really uneventful first half. But last week, I feel like we came out extremely hot. We did tonight, also."
► Impact: The Loboes won Stennett's playoff debut, which also marked the team's first postseason game in Class 2A. Cisco has won a playoff game in six of the past seven years.
► Up next: Cisco advances to the area round to face Olton (8-3), which edged New Deal 35-33 on Thursday. The game is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Colorado City's Wolf Stadium.
CLASS 2A DIVISION I BI-DISTRICT
Cisco 70, Stamford 32
Cisco 28 21 14 7—70
Stamford 12 6 6 8—32
CIS — Hunter Long 63 run (Layne Edgar kick), 11:46
CIS — Dawson Hearne 7 pass from Long (Edgar kick), 11:13
STA — Bryson Holt 8 pass from Zhawn Holden (run failed), 7:56
CIS — Long 29 run (Edgar kick), 5:57
STA — Hayden Henager 10 run (pass failed), 3:52
CIS — Jerrod Fisher 3 run (Edgar kick), 2:30
CIS — Long 2 run (Edgar kick), 10:50
CIS — Fisher 84 pass from Long (Edgar kick), 9:05
CIS — Long 56 run (Edgar kick), 6:49
STA — Holden 4 run (pass failed), 2:57
CIS — Fisher 58 run (Edgar kick), 9:34
CIS — Andrew Acosta 14 run (Edgar kick), 2:41
STA — Dylan Faulks 6 pass from Holden (pass failed), 0:04
STA — Holden 1 run (Ryheem Smith pass from Holden), 6:16
CIS — Acosta 11 run (Edgar kick), 1:42
First downs: (C) 21; (S) 26
Rushes-Yards: (C) 44-499; (S) 22-126
Passing: (C) 124; (S) 330
Comp-Att-Int: (C) 4-5-1; (S) 43-70-2
Punts: (C) 2; (S) 3
Fumbles-Lost: (C) 2-1; (S) 2-1
Penalties-Yards: (C) 7-75; (S) 7-45
RUSHING: Cisco, Hunter Long 17-271, Jerrod Fisher 11-147, Andrew Acosta 9-69, C.J. Lewis 1-15, Hunter McCoy 2-5, Michael Cadenhead 1-3, Layne Edgar 1-(-4), Team 2-(-7). Stamford, Zhawn Holden 16-86, Hayden Henager 4-38, Bryson Holt 1-9, Team 1-(-7).
PASSING: Cisco, Long 4-5-1—124. Stamford, Hooper 43-70-2—330.
RECEIVING: Cisco, Dawson Hearne 2-24, Fisher 1-84, Edgar 1-16. Stamford, Ryheem Smith 14-117, Holt 9-97, Dylan Faulks 9-35, Tre Whitfield 7-48, Henager 3-22, Isaiah Gonzales 1-11.
RECORDS: Cisco 8-3; Stamford 5-6.