AXTELL — The Italy Gladiators officially clinched a playoff berth with a four-score win over Axtell.
Italy ran for over 290 yards in the 35-12 win Friday night to finish in the fourth-spot of District 8-2A behind Mart, Bosqueville, and Riesel.
Kendrick Norwood again carried the load for the Gladiators, rushing for 269 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. Freshman Daylan Slade added 127 yards and two touchdowns on his 15 carries.
Quarterback Marcos Duarte completed 3-of-his-5 passes for 56 yards. Devin Mapps caught one pass for 29 yards. Norwood pulled in the other two for 27 yards.
The win moved Italy to 5-5 on the season and 2-3 in district play.
Italy will play De Leon in the bi-district round of the playoffs on Friday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.
The Bearcats finished the regular season a perfect 10-0 and 6-0 in District 7-2A.
LAST TIME OUT
MART — The Gladiators could not get out of town fast enough Friday, Nov. 3 after suffering a 70-0 defeat to No. 4 Mart Panthers.
The loss dropped Italy to 4-5 on the season and 1-3 in District 8-2A, while the Panthers improved to a perfect 9-0.
Kendrick Norwood paced the Italy offense with 72 yards on 14 carries. Marcos Duarte finished 1-of-4 for 24 yards. Christon Washington pulled in the lone reception.
Italy will close out its regular season at home against Axtell. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10.