NACOGDOCHES—Van junior Elijah Rankine carried 12 times for 163 yards and three touchdowns while also adding a touchdown reception to lead Van past Splendora 49-14 Saturday in its Class 4A Division I area playoff at Homer Bryce Stadium.

Rankine scored on runs of 8, 24 and 27 yards while also delivering a 26-yard touchdown catch. Teammate Ethan Robinson finished with four catches for 70 yards and two touchdowns.

Van senior quarterback Liam Nielson was on point, completing 11-of-19 for 190 yards and three touchdowns. Van led 35-0 at halftime.

Splendora was held scoreless until the final minutes of play. The Wildcats produced 133 of its final 192 yards passing on those two scoring drives.

The Vandals will next face Henderson at 7 p.m. Friday in Whitehouse for the regional semifinals. It is a rematch of District 10-4A Division I rivals. Van won the first meeting, 21-20.

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