Brayden Klafka’s best plays give Spearman a 24-6 win over Vega
VEGA – Who do you call when your two quarterbacks are injured with your star player? In Spearman’s case, you call Brayden Klafka.
The senior wide receiver stepped into the Lynx’s biggest void and filled the role of makeshift quarterback. He carried the ball for hard earned yards, but also used his throwing arm.
He finished with 104 yards on 15 rushing carries while throwing 2 for 6 for 38 yards. One of those accomplishments was a quick dart to fellow receiver Cade Seaman, who then scored a 35-yard touchdown.
Football in high school: Shorthanded Spearman rides Klafka’s athleticism for 24-6 win over Vega
“It was really different. I had never played this position in my life,” said Klafka. “But it was quite fun to run the ball a lot.”
His debut as a quarterback came at the end of last week’s game against Dalhart, mostly as an emergency option. Before that, it had never crossed his mind that he would take on the role of the main sniper, let alone earn a starting spot.
But he faced these unique challenges as he and the rest of the Lynx offense struggled to navigate for much of the first half.
Until Spearman’s first touchdown, little was working offensively. Klafka had recorded total rushing yards in five carries. Running back Fabian Hernandez had -6 yards on six attempts.
To Vega, it seemed just as dark.
For Spearman, injuries to Jack Davis and Carson Seaman have stifled the productivity of the offense. Still, Lynx head coach Aaron Witten has said he needs something from his players.
They answered the call.
“It took a while. It took a long time to start to take control of the offensive line, around the middle of the third quarter,” he said. “But our guys did a great job of sticking to it, did some great descents. Brayden, of course, did a great job for us and it was a big win.”
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Things started to move at the end of the second quarter when Klafka found Seaman with less than a minute to go. But it was in the third quarter that Vega’s ground defense started to open up and Spearman started to take advantage of it.
Klafka found his rhythm by going 40 yards on four carries in the first practice of the quarterback. In the next practice, Cason Mackie smashed through the doors of the stubborn defense with a 36-yard pickup, which led to Klafka’s 11-yard touchdown run.
After taking the snapshot, Klafka found a hole and sped to the left, weaving through defenders before reaching out with his right arm to cross the plane and enter the end zone.
The senior’s game-changer turned out to be the difference in the second half as he amassed more yards and the offense gained confidence with a 17-6 advantage with 4:08 to go. third.
Although his numbers do not appear in any rankings, it was a highlight at a key point in the game. On one occasion, Klafka turned into what would have been a 5-yard loss into a 31-yard gain, making his way into Vega’s territory.
This race set up the final touchdown for Spearman.
Klafka ended her night with a 10-yard fourth quarter run that ended in a hurdle against both a Spearman blocker and a Vega defenseman who sent “oohs” and “wows” through the Stadium.
Fans knew they were attending a special player.
After the game, Vega’s head coach Jason Porton approached and congratulated Klafka on his performance.
“Brayden Klafka is a hell of a athlete,” said Porton. “He’s an explosive player. He did a hell of a job tonight.”
Julio Vega is a sports reporter for the Amarillo Globe-News. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
LAUNCHER 24, VEGA 6
Lancer 0 10 7 7 – 24
Vega 0 0 6 0 – 6
SUMMARY OF RATING
SPE – Miguel Zamara 40-yard field goal, 10:16
SPE – Pass from Cade Seaman 35 from Brayden Klafka (good kick from Zamara), 0:56
SPE – Klafka 11 run (good kick from Zamara), 4:08
VEG – Slade Fowler 19 pass by Ryan Grawunder, 0:28
SPE – 27 yard run from Fabian Hernandez (good kick from Zamara), 11:18
Stat: Spearman, Vega
First down: 12, 8
Rush Yards: 39-204, 27-91
Assists: 38, 77
Comp-Att-INT: 2-6-0, 8-13-2
Punt-Moy: 2-37.5, 5-35.4
Smoke-Lost: 0-0, 0-0
Pen-Yds: 7-55, 5-45
Pitcher: Brayden Klafka 2/6, 38 yards; Vega: Ryan Grawunder 8/13, 77 yards, 2 INT
Pitcher: Klafka 15-104, Cason Mackie, 9-46, Leading Seaman 4-37, Fabian Hernandez 10-27; Vega: Clay Gilter 14-53, Grawunder 11-38, José Silerio 2-0.
Lancer: Sailor 1-35, Mackie 1-3; Vega: Joaquin Segovia 3-42, Slade Fowler 1-19, Gilter 2-10, Silerio, 1-4, Diego Martinez 1-2.