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Stratford celebrates fourth UIL State Championship in program history

The Elks win 39-27
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 7:01 PM CST
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ARLINGTON, Texas (KFDA) - The No. 5 Stratford Elks secured their fourth State Championship in program history (2000, ‘05, ‘08 and ‘21) after defeating No. 6 Falls City Beavers 39-27 at AT&T Stadium.

“It’s everything. We look forward to this all year,” said Dru Jones, Stratford senior wide receiver. “This was our one goal and we accomplished it.”

The Elks were off to a slow start failing on their first drive, but that’s the norm for the second half team. However, head coach Matt Lovorn even mentioned after the game that he didn’t make any adjustments. The Elks just played with more physicality.

“We’d been in that place before early in games in the playoffs,” said Lovorn. “What we ended up talking about though was taking advantage of our opportunities that we have during the game and just playing our tails off for 24 more minutes. That’s exactly what our team did.”

Stratford’s defense stiffened up in the second half outscoring Falls City in the second half 26-13. The Elks’ defense allowed only 25 rushing yards to the Beavers all game.

“Everything we do with our defense starts with our defensive line,” said Lovorn. “Those guys played their tails off tonight. Our defensive line and linebackers read what they needed to do with their keys every single play.”

Lovorn started coaching at Stratford out of college in 2009. Just one year after the Elks won their last title before now.

“He deserves it. He’s never giving up on any of us and we dang sure weren’t going to give up on him,” said Cody Rinne, Stratford senior quarterback and defensive back.

Stratford ranks second in the Panhandle with four football state titles sitting tied with Amarillo High. Only one team holds more and that’s Canadian.

“It means everything. It’s a dream,” said Mauricio Duran, said Stratford junior wide receiver and defensive back. “It’s been since ‘08. I remember watching that game and I said I’m going to be a State Champ one day and here I am.”

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