By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
After trailing only 7-0 to the fourth-ranked Waco Lions after the first half, the Roos fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half and Waco's Peter Smith rumbled 10 yards to set up the Lions with a first-and-goal at the Killeen 5.
Lions running back Jarred Salubi (22 carries, 148 yards, TD) bulled his way to the 1 and Bronshae-Keon Dugas finished the scoring drive from there and began a 21-point third-quarter, a 14-point fourth-quarter and a 42-0 shutout final to spoil the Roos' homecoming Thursday night.
"Waco made some adjustments at halftime and our defense let go in the second half," Killeen coach Sam Jones said.
The Roos defense allowed the Lions just 118 yards of offense in the first half, but gave up 240 in the second.
Killeen's offense registered only 129 yards in the game and four turnovers – three coming in the second half.
"Anyone that knows this team knows that Killeen's heart is in its offense," Jones said. "The Kangaroos go as the offense goes. We've got to get our chins up. Waco is probably the best defense we've seen all year. I'm still excited about our chances. We get to play (No. 7 Copperas) Cove next week and then (Waco) University after that."
Waco (7-1, 3-0) forced Killeen (5-3, 1-2 16-4A) into back-to-back three-and-outs after -posting a 21-0 lead and Tevin Clark picked off Alijawon White's second interception of the game after it was tipped at the line of scrimmage to set the Waco offense up at the Killeen 17.
Five play later, Bronshae-Keon Dugas (two TDs) scored his second touchdown of the game and gave the Lions a 28-0 lead.
Waco reserve quarterback Clarence Willis (3-3-0, 66 yards, 2 TDs) threw back-to-back touchdown passes of 28 and 24 to Dugas and tailback Toylon Clark.
Willis hit Clark for the 42-0 lead with 6:15 left to play in the fourth quarter. The Roos got their first first down of the second half 15 seconds later on a 27-yard run by White. Two plays later, White threw his third interception, his second to Waco's Terrance Adkism, who returned it 38 yards to the Killeen 27.
Adkism picked off his first on the second play of the second quarter, but the Roos held the Lions then and on their last four possessions of the half to go in at the break trailing only 7.
"We kind of relaxed," Jones said of the Roos after the break. "A half isn't a ballgame. We've got to play for 48 minutes."
Waco took the opening kick off 67 yards in 29 seconds for the first score of the game; a 16-yard sprint over the right side by starting quarterback Kyle Carter. The Lions picked up three first downs in that opening series, but only converted two more through the course of the first half and didn't have a single first down in the second quarter.
The Roos had only three in the first quarter – all passes by White – and converted a fourth-and-one on a White 3-yard sneak.
The Lions' offense, as expected, stuck to the ground on Salubi carries. He had 11 for 79 yards, 46 on the Lions' opening drive and 12 on the last play of the first half. Carter attempted three passes but didn't complete a one.
The Roos had only 20 yards on the ground – White had 11 and Tillman had 8 – and 53 yards in the air.
It took just 29 seconds for the Lions to score the opening touchdown and just 34 seconds to score their second score after recovering Killeen's fumbled kickoff.
"The kid was just trying to make a play," Jones said. "But, that's no reason for us to just stop playing."
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562.