The Strafford Indians traveled to Forsyth to take on the Panthers in the Class 2 District 4 sem-finals on Friday, Nov. 3.
Though the Indians lost this matchup earlier this year 28-42 at home, they hit the road Friday with intentions of turning the tables on their opponents.
"We had the feeling that we can win this time," added Hester. "We'd been watching the film and were confident that we could make the corrections to take the game."
The game promised to be a nail-biter and delivered. Excitement and screams filled the stands as the Indians and the Panthers went head to head.
Strafford struck first with junior running-back Silas Morton, setting the tone early in the first quarter by running a 79-yard touchdown.
The Panthers clawed back with a 34-yard touchdown pass to tie the game.
Senor Jordyn Edelstein responded with a 74-yard pass to Cody Voysey, which put the Indians in scoring position.
With a score of 14-7 in the second quarter, Edelstein found junior wide-receiver Bradlee Mullins for a 21-yard touchdown pass.
In the fourth quarter, Strafford held a slight 21-19 lead on the Panthers. Forsyth took the lead with less than four minutes to go with a 7-yard touchdown pass and a field goal conversion.
Strafford answered with a touchdown of their own to finish the game 28-26.
Edelstein went 50% on completions, with 95 yards thrown and a touchdown for himself. Morton carried 25 times for 242 yards and three touchdowns.
"Put Silas in and things can happen," said head coach Tim Hester. "The boys saw that we could clinch this game. We cleaned up our mistakes, and are looking to do the same in the Fair Grove game."
The Indians will take on the Fair Grove Eagles for the District Championship on Friday, Nov. 10, at Fair Grove High School. The Eagles are 10-0 on the season, led by All-state returner Kellen Lair.
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