The Patterson Middle School Cavaliers football team capped an undefeated season Tuesday by shutting out Eastern Hills 32-0 in the Killeen ISD Middle School seventh-grade championship game Tuesday at Leo Buckley Stadium.
The Cavaliers jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter with impressive runs from Rian McKinley and receptions from Damon Hewing.
Less than 5 minutes into the contest, the Cavaliers were up 16-0 on a pair of McKinley touchdown runs. Kicker Tucker Sills added both two-point kicks, aided by holder Raiden Neely.
Defensively, the Cavs held off the strong running attack of Eastern Hills. Leading the charge for the Patterson defense were Dominic Gomez, Jalen Clarke and Javier Molina.
Coach RJ Sandoval and Gary Rhiner credited the exceptional play of the defense with the ability of all 11 players to swarm to the ball.
Quarterback Ethan Nix finished his season with several long balls down the field, mixed with powerful running and no interceptions for the entire season.
The Cavs went into halftime with a 30-0 lead and picked up an additional two points in the second half on a blocked-punt safety.
Coach Logan Chaney explained the success of the entire team came from players dedicating themselves to the classroom and to one another. The team’s theme for the year was rooted in doing things “Exactly Right.”
In what is believed to be the greatest comeback in KISD title game history, the Eastern Hills Panthers rallied from a 25-6 deficit to beat Nolan 34-25 for the eighth-grade championship.
JaQuan Tillis scored four touchdowns for Eastern Hills, which avenged a 32-6 loss to Nolan earlier in the season.
Things started badly for the Panthers. Early on, a snap sailed over the quarterback’s head, setting up Nolan’s first score. Then the Eastern Hills QB threw an interception that was returned for another score and a 13-0 deficit.
The Panthers battle back to 13-6 on Tillis’ first touchdown.
Nolan then scored two more TDs for a 25-6 lead early in the second quarter.
The Panthers then got a couple of breaks to turn the tide and reel off 20 unanswered points.
Tillis scored two more TDs, and Vrashon Walker threw to Jonathan Figueroa with a few seconds left in the first half. Jason Palacios’ two-point PAT kick put the Panthers ahead 26-25 at halftime.
Eastern Hills came out in the second half and Tillis ran for another score. Palacios again added the two-point kick for a 34-25 lead.
The Panthers threatened twice more, but their drives stalled in the red zone.
But the Eastern Hills defense was there to hold Nolan scoreless for the final 2½ quarters.
It was the second consecutive championship for this Eastern Hills group who won the seventh-grade title a year ago.
The Copperas Cove Junior High Lady Bullpups finished their season by taking three of four matches against crosstown rival S.C. Lee on Nov. 16.
Aidan Chace was named player of the game as the 7A Lady Bullpups (8-0) capped the season as undefeated district champs, topping S.C. Lee 25-9, 25-12.
Maddison Griffon was named player of the game for the Lady Cougars (5-3).
Kayla Taylor led a tenacious defense that helped the Lady Bullpup 7B team (6-2) take a 25-18, 24-26, 25-16 victory.
Chyla Johnson was the star for Lee (5-3).
Trina Canion helped S.C. Lee (5-3) take the 8B match 27-25, 24-26, 25-20.
D’myra Marcus was the top player for Cove (2-6).
Kaylee Welch had five kills and six digs to lead the Lady Bullpups (6-2) to a win in the 8A match, 25-19, 18-25, 25-18.
Sheana Peart was the player of the game for S.C. Lee (2-6).
CiCi McClain scored 20 points and the Patterson 8A Cavaliers rolled to a 53-6 win over Temple Lamar in the first round of the KISD preseason tournament.
Other scorers for Patterson were Devany Wall (eight points), Sydney Brock (seven), Kaleiyah Davis (six), Breonna Flemming and Ariyanna Scott (four each) and Daiza Planas and Kwantavia Alexander (two each).
Patterson 8B 50, Temple Lamar 8B 4: Amani Bradshaw led three Cavaliers in double figures with 13 points in the win.
Other scorers for Patterson were Cierra Penn (11 points), Meleanna Williams (10), Jasmine Carson (six), Brianna Smiley (four), Alanna Howard and Alexus Whiteside (two each) and Wanjiru Randolph and Dariona Levy (one each).
Liberty Hill 8A 32, Nolan 8A 3: Alia Vines had two points, four steals, two rebounds and three blcoks to lead the defeated Lady Mustangs.
Daja Simmons addeda free throw.
Temple Bonham 8A 35, Nolan 8A 10: Alia Vines scored all of the points and had seven steals for the defeated Lady Mustangs.
Remani Slater and Shamira Peters each grabbed three rebounds.
Shayla Williams had three steals of her own.
The Lady Mustangs begin regular season play this week against Palo Alto.