Again, it fell on their shoulders and again the Killeen defense did what it needed to set up the Roos’ offense for a game-winning drive in the final minute of the game.
Following a game-tying field goal by Leander Vandegrift with 3:13 left in the fourth quarter and a turnover by Killeen running back Daniel McCants, Roos junior defensive back Matthew Ballard intercepted a Vipers pass to set up McCants’ redeeming and game-winning touchdown run with 28 seconds left to give Killeen (2-0) a 23-17 win over Vandegrift on Friday night.
The same defense that set up Eric Jackson’s 66-yard game-winning score against New Braunfels Canyon in the final minute of the opener by forcing a three-and-out in the final minutes of the game last week allowed the Vipers to take a 14-0 lead early in the first half Friday. But in the second half, that same defense created three turnovers, forced one turnover on downs and one punt and allowed one field goal to give the Killeen offense an opportunity to take the Roos into their bye week with a 2-0 record.
Wildcats offense coming together
Zach Allen seemingly put Temple on his back in the Wildcats’ win over Round Rock in their opener last week.
The senior quarterback had plenty of offensive help upsetting Austin Westlake 49-42 in a thrilling game Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.
Allen threw for 300 yards and four touchdowns on 23-of-35 passing, Chad President caught 12 of those for 175 yards and two scores, and Keith Buhl ran for 81 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning 21-yard sprint with 39 seconds left.
Temple (2-0) put up more than 500 yards of offense in its second straight win.
Cove on cruise control
Everything was clicking for Copperas Cove on Friday as four players produced 100-yard totals at their respective positions.
At running back, Vondareaz King followed up a 250-yard outburst in the season-opener by rushing for a game-high 147 yards against Waco, while backfield complement Daniel Ruff finished with 136 yards on just 13 carries.
Starting quarterback Robbie Seybold completed 5 of 6 passes for 140 yards and came close to adding triple-digit yardage on the ground, running for 76 yards, while his favorite target against the Lions, Rashaun Gibson, hauled in three passes for 128 yards.
The quartet accounted for all but one of the Bulldawgs’ six touchdowns in the 43-7 home victory. The only score not involving one of the players occurred in the second quarter, when Chans Colbert ran for a 5-yard touchdown to give Copperas Cove its first lead of the game at 14-7.
Turnovers continue to inhibit Knights
Through two games, the Harker Heights Knights have more turnovers than points scored.
With 11 turnovers — seven interceptions and four lost fumbles — Heights (0-2) has one more mistake than points after only scoring 10 in losses to Round Rock Stony Point and Round Rock.
The turnover bug bit the Knights particularly hard against the Dragons as three of the seven resulted in 20 points for the other side — the exact point differential in the 27-7 loss Friday.
Two of those turnovers directly resulted in scoring plays for Round Rock. The first of those was at the 2:29 mark of the first quarter when a fumble by Heights kick returner Tyrone Bonhomme resulted in a 21-yard return for a touchdown and a 14-0 deficit. The second came about the same point in the fourth quarter, when quarterback Troy Smith was intercepted and the ball returned 29 yards for a the nail-in-the-coffin 27-7 final score.
Moses shines but other Ellison receivers struggle
During the five years Buddy McBryde has been head coach, Ellison hasn’t had much of a passing attack. But it also didn’t have two talented quarterbacks like it does this season in Rasheed Dashiell and Trenton Jones.
Following the 39-12 loss to Manor, McBryde admitted he may not have helped things by calling more passing plays than running when Manor started to pull away in the second quarter. But in reality, the Eagle receivers didn’t help much either, outside of senior Caleb Moses.
Moses accounted for all of Ellison’s first six completions, not that he was the only receiver targeted. After Dashiell started 4-for-5 through the air, he and Jones went a combined 2-of-13 on their next 15 pass attempts, with both completions credited to Moses. In fact, Jones — who started 3-for-3 against Georgetown — missed his first five passes and finished 3-of-10 for 11 yards, including a late 12-yard touchdown to Keith Gibson.
By the Numbers
- 150 — Yards of offense Harker Heights managed in the first half against Round Rock, outproducing the visiting Dragons by almost 2-to-1 (150 to 76), yet the Knights still trailed 14-7 at the break.
- 8:20 — Amount of time that Ellison controlled the ball in the first 12 minutes of play, compared to just 5:52 in the second quarter as Manor racked up 32 consecutive points for a 32-6 halftime lead.
- 26 — Number of Waco plays resulting in no gain or negative yardage against Copperas Cove’s defense.
- 3 — Number of last-minute scores to give Belton, Killeen and Temple wins in Week 1 matchups.
- 42 — Points Temple has scored in the second half of its two wins this season. The Wildcats have outscored their opponents 42-14 in the second half to start the season 2-0.
- 84 — Rushing yards allowed by Killeen’s defense in the Roos’ 23-17 win over Leander Vandegrift, a week after giving up 317 to New Braunfels Canyon.
- 510 — Yards gained by Shoemaker standout Johnny Jefferson through two games this season. The senior Baylor-commit ran for 303 yards and four touchdowns on 26 carries against Universidad Autonoma Nuevo Leon.
- Round Rock Stony Point (1-1) at Shoemaker (1-1), Thursday, 7 p.m. — The Grey Wolves get their chance to win back-to-back games against a Stony Point team that’s split its two preseason games against District 8-5A playoff contenders Belton and Harker Heights.
- Cedar Park (0-2) at Harker Heights (0-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday — Both teams come in with identical 0-2 records, but the reasons are much more unique. The Timberwolves have close losses to perennial playoff teams Austin Westlake and Abilene Cooper, while the Knights have struggled with injuries and turnovers.
- Ellison (0-2) at Waco High (1-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday — The Eagles showed promise for one quarter in what turned into a blowout 39-12 loss to Manor last Friday, and now faces a Waco team that jumped ahead 20-0 and held on for a 20-14 win over the Mustangs in Week 0. Waco is coming off a 43-7 beating by Copperas Cove.
- Universidad Autonoma Nuevo Leon (0-2) at Copperas Cove (1-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday — The Bulldawgs’ running backs, who have combined to produce 647 yards in two games, could have a field day against a porous Tigres defense that allowed Shoemaker’s Johnny Jefferson to run for 303 yards last week.
- Temple (2-0) vs. Southlake Carroll (1-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Cowboys Stadium (Arlington) — The next stop along the way of Temple’s fast start is “Jerry’s World” where the Wildcats face defending state champion Southlake Carroll at Cowboys Stadium.
Contact Kevin Posival at email@example.com or (254) 501-7562
Staff writers Clay Whittington, Alex Byington and Nick Talbot contributed to this report.