By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
BROWNWOOD — The Brownwood defense held Marcus Tillman out of the end zone on the final play of the game — the last stand of a defensive struggle between two teams best known for their offenses.
Tillman’s attempt at the end would have been nice, but as the clock wound out, the Roos bench erupted after their 25-22 upset of the No. 6 Brownwood Lions (5-2, 1-1) Friday night at Gordon Wood stadium.
“Everyone’s always said that Killeen doesn’t have a defense,” Killeen coach Sam Jones said. “I challenged them this week and the defense showed up tonight.”
The Kangaroos’ defense held the potent Lions’ offense to just 238 yards. Quarterback Casey Pachall racked up 77 of those on the Lions’ last offensive attempt with consecutive passes to Chris Munson, the last one a 59-yard scoring throw.
“We had to (pressure him),” Jones said. “You saw what he did on that last drive. If he gets time to set his feet, he can pick you apart. We wanted to get him on the move and make sure he didn’t beat us on the run.”
Pachall had only 20 yards on 16 carries because five of those carries were sacks and most of the rest were the result of him being forced out of the pocket.
Not only were Roos (5-2, 1-1) disrupting much of the Lions’ offense, they were also aware enough to grab three second-half fumbles by the Lions.
The Roos turned all three into scores and built a 25-14 lead with less than 4½ minutes remaining on Marcus Tillman’s second touchdown run of the night — this one a 24-yarder in open space after he cleared the front line.
“When we needed the offense, they came through for us,” Jones said. “We talked about it in the locker room at halftime that if we could hold Brownwood to 14 points, we could win and we held them at 14 until the very end.”
Tillman (27-127, 2 TDs) picked up his first after the Lions’ first lost fumble in their first series of the second half. Tillman bulled his way through the line from 1 yard out to pull the Roos within 1 after the PAT try bounced off the goalposts.
Alijawon White (10-16-2, 133 yards 2 TDs) gave the Roos their first lead when he found sophomore JaCorie Baker wide open on third-and-four from the Lions’ 33 on the first play in the fourth quarter.
Fuson led all receivers with five receptions for 90 yards, none so big as a 28-yarder on fourth-and-three on the Brownwood 35 with a minute to play.
“You can’t count us out yet,” Jones said. “Now we get to go back home and face Waco High,” Jones said. “We’re just going to take them all one at a time.”
Neither offense had much bite in the first quarter as both teams combined for just three first downs and 52 total yards. White threw two first-half interceptions, the second on the first play of the second quarter when the Lion’s defense hit White’s throwing arm and forced a flyball 10 yards downfield and into the waiting arms of Lions’ standout defensive back Kenny Vaccaro at the Killeen 35.
With the short field, Pachall guided the Lions’ offense to paydirt on a three-minute, six-play drive that ended when Zach Green sprinted around the left side of his offensive line and went untouched for nine into the end zone.
White and the Roos answered on the ensuing drive. White hit tight end Jerald Gould from nine yards out to cap an 80-yard, 3 1/2 minute drive.
With three minutes to play, Lions’ punter Jarrod Howey pinned the Roos back at their one 1 and forced the Roos into a three-and-out and set up their offense at the Roos’ 31 after Jordan Ramos’ 30-yard punt from the back of the end zone.
Pachall completed an 18-yard pass to Howey and Corey Burr inched the ball to the 11 on a 2-yard burst up the middle with 30 seconds on the clock. Demetrius Daniels got in on his third sack of the half and pinned Pachall and the Lions back at the 20 yards and facing a third-and-long, but Pachall’s 20-yard pass to Parker Taylor with 7.1 seconds left was near perfect and the Lions entered the break up seven.
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562.