The Alex Longhorns always had an answer.
Trailing 16-0 at halftime in Alex on Friday in the second round of the Class B playoffs, the Laverne Tigers scored 30 points in the second half. But Alex was able to answer every Laverne touchdown with a touchdown of its own in the team’s 44-30 victory.
Alex avenged a 28-22 loss to Laverne in the season opener with the victory.
Alex’s rushing attack proved to be too much for the Tigers. The Longhorns ended the game with more than 400 yards on the ground.
Tatton Anderson ran for more than 300 yards and five touchdowns in the win. He also had a touchdown catch from Chase Byrne to account for every Alex touchdown.
After both defenses stepped up early, the Longhorns got on the board first in the first quarter. Needing 19 yards on fourth down, Anderson broke free for a 36-yard touchdown run to give the Longhorns the lead.
With Alex leading 8-0 in the second quarter, Anderson scored his second touchdown of the game. The Longhorns took a 16-0 advantage after the successful conversion.
Laverne gained momentum early in the second half, recovering an Alex fumble and then scoring on its first offensive play of the half. The conversion made the score 16-8 in favor of Alex.
The Longhorns came up with an answer, marching down the field and taking up time to score another touchdown. Anderson finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Laverne closed the gap to 24-16, but Anderson broke off a long touchdown run on the following possession to put the Longhorns up 30-16.
Alex answered Laverne’s next touchdown with a touchdown pass from Byrne to Anderson.
With Alex’s lead at six late in the game, the Longhorns had a chance to run out the clock. But it was Anderson’s 51-yard touchdown run that put the finishing touch on the victory.
Brycen Otey was another Longhorn who stepped up in the win. He had multiple big catches on offense and two interceptions on defense against the Tigers.
With the win, the Longhorns have won nine games in a row. Alex will play at Regent Prep in the Class B quarterfinals Friday at 7 p.m.
Regent Prep enters the game with a 12-0 record.