After falling to Killeen for eight straight years, the Shoemaker Grey Wolves thwarted the Kangaroos on Friday night, as they posted 27 unanswered points and shut out the Killeen offense in the second half.
Friday night also marked the Grey Wolves’ first win over the Roos since Shoemaker opened in 2000.
The Grey Wolves (3-3, 1-2 District 8-5A) already have more victories this season than all others since 2008, and only need one more to tie 2008’s four-win campaign.
“We’re always the underdog at Shoemaker High School,” said Shoemaker coach Channon Hall before the game. “We’re used to that. Nobody in the paper’s going to pick us to win. Nobody in the media is going to pick us to win, and that’s fine. But we have a good football team, and we’re going to keep getting better and we’re going to surprise some people.”
Multiple Grey Wolves have filled the shoes of Class of 2012 standout running back Johnny Jefferson, who now plays for Baylor.
To name a few: Senior quarterback Ziere Banner, senior running back Rayshun Spearman, senior receiver Qwoy Blunt and junior receiver Nahome Anderson have all filled Jefferson’s big shoes.
“Johnny Jefferson is one of those special D1 athletes that is hard to replace by one person,” Hall said. “But we’re doing it by committee, and I think all my guys are up to the challenge.”
Banner completed 12 of 21 passes for 263 yards, and carried 31 times for 172 yards.
He involved himself in all five Shoemaker touchdowns, including a 15-yard touchdown run, 49- and 42-yard passes to Blunt and 25- and 22-yard passes to Anderson.
With 5:18 left in the third quarter, Shoemaker found itself on Killeen’s 25 after a defensive hands-to-the-face penalty and a Banner 5-yard run. On the ensuing play, Anderson blazed down the right side of the field. As the pass cascaded into the end zone, he laid out, outstretched one arm, tapped the ball twice, and hauled it in as he hit the grass.
“He’s a beast,” Hall said. “We expect him to do that. ... We’ve been preaching that since June.”
“It was crazy,” Anderson said. “I just looked at the ball and I wanted to hold on to it, and pulled it in.”
The defense stepped up big for the Wolves, who intercepted four passes, recovered a fumble and blocked a field goal.
While defensive back Dwyane Williams came into the game with a whopping district-high seven interceptions, his teammates closed the stat gap Friday.
Linebacker Diamon Cannon picked off two throws, and recovered a fumble at the end of the fourth quarter, sealing the win.
Troy Afono and Anfernee Hawkins added interceptions in the first half.
Cannon’s fourth-quarter interception and a 32-yard Williams field-goal block return resulted in Grey Wolves touchdowns.
Cove offense up and down in loss to Waco Midway
Manny Harris and the Copperas Cove offense hummed right along at first. The Bulldawgs capped their first drives of each half against Waco Midway with touchdowns, but in between they were outscored 25-3 and put into a hole they nearly couldn’t climb out of in their 42-39 overtime loss on Friday.
“This kind of offense, you might go two or three times and not (score), and then two or three times, you might score right in a row. That’s just part of clicking, making things happen,” Copperas Cove coach Jack Welch said.
Harris completed his first seven passes — breaking Robert Griffin III’s school single-season passing record in the process — and then led the Bulldawgs to a touchdown on their first drive of the game against Midway. Jayson Stanley kicked a 27-yard field goal five minutes before halftime, but Cove still trailed Midway 32-10 at halftime. The Bulldawgs were forced to punt on their other three possessions of the first half while the Panthers pulled away, scoring on all but one of their first-half drives.
The second half was a complete reversal as the Bulldawgs outscored Midway 22-7 in the third and 7-0 in the fourth, but that only tied the game at the end of regulation, where Cove didn’t pick up a single yard and missed a long field goal.
— Kevin Posival
Heights overcomes adversity in win against Ellison
For a moment — just a moment — Harker Heights appeared to be in a precarious position late in the first half against Ellison on Friday.
Not only did the Knights suddenly find themselves trailing the Eagles after a 75-yard reverse pass from Hayward Clay to Reggie Jackson, but Ellison recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and set up at the Heights 19 after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the Knights.
Worse, perhaps, Heights running back Marcus Anderson II — who entered the contest having rushed for 336 yards in two District 8-5A games — was hobbled on the Knights’ previous drive by an apparent lower leg injury.
But in the game’s next two series, Heights showed why it’d be just fine on both sides of the ball in an eventual 38-20 victory at Leo Buckley Stadium.
First the Knight defense stiffened, as the ensuing Eagles drive lasted four plays — an incompletion, a sack, a screen that was snuffed out for no gain and a second sack to force a turnover on downs.
Heights then took over and went 62 yards in 13 plays, thanks largely to running back Damaria Moon, who had five carries for 34 yards on the drive, and a drive-saving 12-yard run by quarterback Troy Smith on fourth-and-7 at the Ellison 45.
Anderson was limited the rest of the game, but Moon continued to step up, scoring on the Knights’ next two drives to help Heights run away with the game.
For Ellison, it was the second game in a row that it saw a slim lead turn into a two-score deficit as Heights held the Eagles to just one score the rest of the way despite a big effort from Jackson, who had eight catches for 159 yards and three touchdowns in the game.
Yet thanks to its ability to overcome adversity, Heights now finds itself trending up after its second win in a row puts it in a tie for second in 8-5A, while Ellison is still looking for its first win in 26 games.
— Jordan Mason
Temple overwhelms rival Belton on the road
After erasing second-half leads in its previous two victories to start District 8-5A play, Belton wasn’t able to escape the tidal wave of momentum by rival Temple on Friday.
The Wildcats rolled to a 34-point halftime lead en route to a 54-20 victory to knock off Belton for the third straight season and hand the Tigers their first district loss.
Temple not only shut down the potent Belton running game, holding the Tigers to just 143 rushing yards, but also ran for a whopping 452, with running backs Marques Hatcher and Stephen Carr and quarterback Chase Truelove all topping 100 yards on the ground.
Belton was also undone by turnovers, as the Tigers fumbled the ball five times and lost three.
Running back Brandon Rhoads tallied 138 total yards for Belton, but it was hardly enough to prevent the Wildcats’ victory.
Now, there is no rest for the weary as Belton will hit the road for its next game against Copperas Cove, which erased a 22-point deficit to take district unbeaten Waco Midway to overtime before falling on a field goal.
— Jordan Mason
- Belton (2-4, 2-1 8-5A) at Copperas Cove (3-3, 1-2): The Bulldawgs’ playoff chances could take a damaging blow if they lose at home to the Tigers, who stunned Cove 35-31 last year in Belton.
- Ellison (0-6, 0-3 8-5A) at Temple (3-3, 2-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday: Ellison is still looking for its first win of the season and will visit a Temple team fresh off a 34-point stomping of rival Belton.
- Harker Heights (2-4, 2-1 8-5A) at Shoemaker (3-3, 1-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday (Buckley Stadium): After losing its first four, Heights has won two in a row and takes on a Shoemaker team that offensively and defensively dominated Killeen on Friday.
- Midway (5-1, 3-0 8-5A) at Killeen (1-5, 1-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday (Hood Stadium): Coming off a big overtime win against Copperas Cove, Midway visits a Killeen team that has lost two straight district games since upsetting Copperas Cove.
BY THE NUMBERS
- 28 — Unanswered points by Heights after Ellison took a 14-10 lead in the first half.
- 95 — Yards passing by Ellison receiver Hayward Clay — on two reverse passes for touchdowns in the first half Friday.
- 3 — 100-yard rushers for Temple in a 54-20 win over Belton.
- 77 — Percentage of Shoemaker plays in which quarterback Ziere Banner either rushed or passed.
- 0 — Penalties in the first half of the Killeen-Shoemaker game.
- 61 — Passes thrown by Cove quarterback Manny Harris on Friday — all without an interception.
Contact Brian Bradley at email@example.com or (254) 501-7567