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  • Greg Wille

FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS: Buffalo staves off Rogers 37-35 in district rematch, advances to Region IV final

WACO – Rogers pushed Buffalo until the end in a District 13-3A Division II rematch Friday night, but the Eagles didn't have quite enough firepower as the Bison prevailed 37-35 in a Class 3A Division II Region IV semifinal Friday night at Waco ISD Stadium.

Two months after Rogers lost 46-28 at Buffalo, coach Charlie Roten's Eagles (7-6) played the Bison (12-1) closer the second time around in the teams' third meeting in the last 12½ months. In 2019, Rogers rallied late to defeat Buffalo 36-33 in a 3A D-II bi-district playoff game.

After losing four of its first five games this season, Rogers won six of its next seven games before the third-round loss to Buffalo. The Eagles reached a regional semifinal for the second straight season.

In another 13-3A D-II rematch, district runner-up Buffalo – on the longest playoff run in its program's history – will battle league champion Franklin (10-2) next Friday night at Waco ISD Stadium for the Region IV championship and a berth in the state semifinals. Franklin ripped Lexington 40-7 in another district rematch.

Rogers trimmed Buffalo's lead to 37-35 with 3:51 remaining on Christian Watkins' 8-yard touchdown run and Julian Lashbrook's extra point, but the Bison offense possessed the ball for the remainder of the game to secure the victory.

Junior Christian Riley led Rogers with 116 yards and a 7-yard touchdown on 14 carries, and Watkins rushed for two TDs. Riley finished the season with 1,295 rushing yards and 21 total TDs. Eagles junior quarterback Riley Dolgener was 6-of-11 passing for 148 yards with a 68-yard touchdown to Jacob Glasgow. Dolgener, who threw two interceptions, rushed for 57 yards and had a 13-yard TD in the third quarter that cut Buffalo's lead to 31-28.

The Bison's advantage grew to 37-28 early in the fourth when Brett Hoffman threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Rogers. Dual-threat QB Hoffman was 22-of-37 passing for 405 yards and four TDs – two to Rogers and one each to Kyle Harrison and Ethan Williams.

Buffalo recorded 604 yards total offense (405 passing, 199 rushing) compared to 399 total yards (251 rushing) for Rogers. John Hill and Jordan Werner led the Eagles defense with eight tackles each, and Ty Sebek and Tyler Shelton had six stops apiece.

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