WACO — Facing a fourth and 12 from their own 1-yard line, Waco smartly opted to punt.
Shoemaker jumped offsides. And then it jumped offsides again and finally a third time.
And on the third one, Waco burned the Grey Wolves as D.J. Scott found Tyrell Taylor wide open for an 89-yard touchdown pass on the free play.
The long score put the Lions up 23-14 and deflated the Grey Wolves, who went on to lose to Waco 37-14 at Waco ISD Stadium on Friday.
“Really the score doesn’t tell the tale I think,” Shoemaker coach Channon Hall said. “We did some good things offensively, but we did not convert. We did not finish on fourth down, giving up two touchdowns, and that is not going to get it done. We showed some signs of being undisciplined and that is not what we are about.”
Ziere Banner struggled with accuracy most of the game, finishing 12-of-26 passing for 161 yards, but not on his first pass. The senior hit Nahome Anderson, who led all receivers with seven catches for 121 yards, for a 45-yard strike to set up the Grey Wolves’ first touchdown, a 6-yard run by Rayshun Spearman.
Waco couldn’t get anything going on offense. However, big fourth-down plays got it on the scoreboard. On a fourth-and-6 with 5:26 left in the first quarter, Traynham Moore found a wide open Taylor in the middle of the end zone.
Moore’s next pass, though, wasn’t so great.
He was intercepted by Malik Clemens, who returned the pick 65 yards for the touchdown and gave Shoemaker a 14-6 lead. Waco then converted another fourth down on its way to the end zone. Dwight Worthy took an end-around 15 yards on a fourth that set up an 11-yard touchdown run by Troy Robinson.
Shoemaker failed to convert its own fourth down conversion — from its own 30-yard line. Waco took over at the 26, but thanks to penalties, had to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Jason Diaz.
It was all Waco needed. It then hit the 89-yard bomb, Ky’lan Robinson returned a fumble 20 yards for a touchdown and Scott capped off the win with a 2-yard touchdown run with one minute remaining.
“Fourth down we have a system we are confident in, and we try to get them to jump, and when they do, we take advantage of it,” Waco coach Marty Herbst said. “It takes a lot of courage to snap the ball when you are inside your 15-yard line, but that is the system we have in place and we executed.”
Contact Nick Talbot at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7569