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Italy junior Kort Holley fights for yardage Friday night against Valley View. (Kirk Holt/KBEC Sports)

Italy Gladiators fall to Valley View in 2A area championship

By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports

The memorable season for the Italy Gladiators came to an end Friday night in the 2A Division I area championship against Valley View.

The Gladiators pulled within an extra-point conversion early in the second quarter, only to watch the Eagles score 24-unanswered points before the half for a 31-6 lead. Italy did manage to outscore Valley View in the second half (14-10) but couldn’t overcome the deficit, falling 41-20.

Jaydon Saxon completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Kort Holley in the third quarter to cut the Valley View lead to 31-12.

The sophomore quarterback then found Cahl Horn for a 26-yard touchdown pass with one minute and change to play in the fourth quarter. Chase Hyles added the two-point conversion with a rushing score to reach the 41-20 final score.

The area championship loss was the final high school football game for five Italy seniors. Those student-athletes include Cahl Horn, Michael Gonzalez, Noah Steinmetz, Colby Hampton and Colton May.


The Gladiators began year two under head coach Craig Horn with a pair of losses against 3A state-ranked Palmer (22-0) and Mildred (35-33). They then reeled off four consecutive wins to put the program on the playoff radar for the first time in several seasons.

Following a 62-41 loss to Bruceville-Eddy, which was the lone District 8-2A loss suffered by the Gladiators, Italy defeated Axtell (41-0), Itasca (41-8) and Riesel (58-32) to enter the postseason as the district runner-up.

Italy then defeated Valley Mills, 47-23, this past week to win a 2A DI Region II bi-district championship.


Valley View, which improved to 10-2 on the season, moves on to face (9-3) Crawford at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29 in the 2A DI Region II semifinals. The Bulldogs defeated Honey Grove 35-18 on Friday to win its own 2A DI area championship.



All photos by Kirk Holt/KBEC Sports

About Travis M. Smith

Travis M. Smith serves as the digital sports director for KBEC Sports. He is the former managing editor of the Waxahachie Daily Light, Midlothian Mirror and Glen Rose Reporter.

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