GRAHAM — A pair of interception returns for touchdowns helped Whitesboro pull the upset on state-ranked Eastland, 30-21, in a Class 3A Division I Region I bi-district match-up.
Whitesboro (7-4) advances to face either Bushland or Tornillo in the area round next week.
Eastland (9-2) was ranked ninth in the state in 3A Division I in the final Dave Campbell's rankings at the end of the regular season. The Mavericks' only other loss had been in District 3-3A (I) play against Wall, the state's top-ranked team, 28-14.
Cade Acker was 8-of-13 passing for 148 yards with a touchdown and an interception and also ran 19 carries for 83 yards and a TD, Tryston Gaines finished with seven catches for 101 yards and a score and Kasen Todd added three carries for 55 yards and two catches for 67 yards for Whitesboro.
Jacob Smith started the scoring with a 52-yard interception return but the Bearcats' lead was gone in the final minute of the first quarter when Brandon Fielding scored on a three-year run.
Acker's TD run put Whitesboro back in front but a missed extra point allowed Eastland to go in front on Fielding's second touchdown of the half.
The Bearcats took a 20-14 lead into half-time on Gaines' 12-yard touchdown catch.
The Mavericks held a 21-20 advantage after the third quarter when Fielding scored again and it stayed that way until Jorge Montes kicked a 39-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter.
Sutton Fuhrmann clinched the victory with a 60-yard interception return as Eastland was trying to either force overtime or get the game-winning touchdown.
Class 3A Division II Region II
Gunter 53, Tolar 7
In Springtown, Hudson Graham completed 8-of-10 passes for 195 yards and three touchdowns and also ran six times for 74 yards and a score as Gunter opened the playoffs with a victory against Tolar in a Class 3A Division II Region II bi-district game.
Gunter (10-1) will face either Clifton or Edgewood in the area round next week.
Tolar (5-6) finished with 168 yards, including 18 carries for 37 yards.
Clayton Reed had 11 carries for 154 yards and a touchdown, Peyton Lowe caught three passes for 68 yards and a TD to go with four carries for 26 yards and a score, David Denton finished with two receptions for 48 yards and two touchdowns and Cade Roller hauled in a 60-yard touchdown for the Tigers, who led 35-7 at half-time.
Reed kicked off the scoring with a three-yard run but Tolar responded with a 72-yard TD pass from Jackson LeCluyse to Reese Robinson.
Lowe put Gunter in front for good with a nine-yard touchdown run and then he caught a TD pass from Graham early in the second quarter.
Mitchell Brewer connected with Denton for a touchdown pass before Denton caught his other one from Graham to close out the first-half scoring.
In the third quarter, Graham scored on a 36-yard run and hit Roller for the long touchdown.
Logan Hubbard closed out the scoring with a 23-yard field goal.