Too many big plays and the loss of its best player in the second half was just too much to overcome for the Strathmore High football team.
SHS, seeded No. 9 in the Valley Division IV playoffs, feel at No. 8 Shafter in the first round of the postseason 42-21 on Friday. Jacob Poole again led the Spartans unofficially gaining 147 yards on 13 carries but he had to leave the game after being hit late out of bounds in the third quarter.
The Spartans scored on their opening drive as Poole set the tone, running for 20 yards on Strathmore's first play from scrimmage. Poole also caught a 13-yard pass from Bryson Bias and Jaime Arredondo caught a 12-yard pass to keep the drive going. Arredondo eventually caught a 4-yard TD pass from Bias and Roman Hernandez kicked the extra point to give Strathmore a 7-0 lead.
The Spartan defense was then able to stiffen stopping the Generals after they drove down the field as SHS took over at its own 23-yard line. Strathmore led 7-0 going into the second quarter but Shafter intercepted a pass and went on to a second quarter full of big plays in which it scored 28 points.
Jesus Figueroa caught a 31-yard TD pass from freshman quarterback Ezekiel Osborne and Ernesto Guerrero added the extra point to tie the game 7-7 for Shafter.
After Strathmore had to punt on the ensuing drive, Figueroa caught a 70-yard scoring pass from Osborne to give Shafter a 14-7 lead. Poole responded by breaking free to score on a 68-yard run to tie the score for SHS 14-14.
It was then Shafter's turn to have another big play as Rafael Roman Amador scored on a 60-yard run to give the Generals a 21-14 lead. After Strathmore turned the ball over on downs, Osborn completed a 60-yard touchdown pass to Mariyon Sloan to give Shafter a 28-14 lead late in the first half.
But SHS was able to put together a drive to end the half sparked by a 17-yard pass from Bias to Arredondo. Bias then had a long run and that eventually set up Poole's 6-yard scoring run with 14 seconds left in the half to bring Strathmore within 28-21 at halftime. Unofficially Poole gained 117 yards on nine carries in the first half.
Shafter, though, needed just four plays, all runs, to go 75 yards for a TD on the opening drive of the second half with Roman-Amador scoring on a 10-yard run to give the Generals a 35-21 lead.
Strathmore then was able to drive twice inside the Shafter 20 but failed to score. On Strathmore's ensuing drive, Poole eventually had a 15-yard run deep into Shafter territory but was hit late out of bounds on the play and wasn't able to return to the game. Poole stood on the sideline for the rest of the game.
The Spartans eventually had a fourth and goal at the 1 but were unable to punch it in. Shafter proceeded to put together a drive that was stopped by an Arredondo interception.
Strathmore was able to drive inside the Shafter 20 again, but failed to score. Shafter then drove down the field, scoring on a 5-yard TD pass to put the game away.
ARVIN 30, LINDSAY 20
Arvin, seeded No. 3 in the Division VI playoffs, staved off the upset attempt by No. 14 Lindsay, but scoring 10 points late in the game.
Isabella Duran's second field goal of the game from 21 yards tied the game for Lindsay 20-20 early in the fourth quarter. But Arvin scored late in the game to take a 27-20 lead and then recovered a fumble t set up a field goal for the final margin.
Duran's first field goal from 30 yards pulled Lindsay to within 7-3 in the second quarter. After Arvin took a 14-3 lead Samuel Reyes scored on a 4-yard run to pull the Cardinals to within 14-10. Down 20-10, Lindsay scored late in the first half to pull to within 20-17 at halftime.