Patterson Middle School seventh-graders and Liberty Hill Middle School eighth-graders hoisted district championship plaques following their respective culminating games Tuesday at Buckley Stadium.
After a water dousing from his excited players, Patterson coach Quincy Francis said the team’s victory over Manor Middle School was special for the whole school.
“It means the world,” he said following the game. “They have worked hours and hours for this moment.”
The 13-0 victory over the Manor Rams completed a perfect 8-0 season and the Patterson Cavaliers’ third district championship in football. Francis said his team’s intensity on defense made the difference.
Tony McIntosh gave Patterson an early 7-0 lead with a touchdown on a ball thrown by Zy’Aire King.
Zavian Tibbs added a long touchdown run and the Cavaliers led 13-0 at halftime.
Other offensive standouts for Patterson were Braden Turner, Tyrone Osberry, Rashad Jackson, Steve Albert, James Rowell, Matthew Moore, Stephen Whiteside and Javier Smith led the defense.
In the second game of the night at Buckley Stadium, the Liberty Hill Lions also finished a perfect 8-0 season, defeating the Audie Murphy Falcons 30-14.
Liberty Hill coach Charles Desmarais said the win was a victory for the whole school, which gave strong support throughout the season.
“It’s fun to represent the whole city of Killeen,” the Lions coach said. “This group has been great to coach. They love to play football.”
Desmarais said he knew Audie Murphy was a strong team, just like the Smith Middle School team, which the Lions defeated to make it to the championship game. He said it was the defense that rose to the occasion to tilt the contest in their favor.
“Audie Murphy is a good, hard-hitting team,” the Liberty Hill coach said. “Smith was tough, too. We won that one 14-6 to get to this game.”
The Lions took an 18-0 lead by the end of the first quarter, but the Falcons came back before Liberty Hill pulled away.
Playing at Buckley Stadium in front of a large group of fans, including students in the stands and cheerleaders on the field made it memorable.
“The kids loved it,” he said. “They loved all the fans. They have done everything we asked them to do. We’re proud for them. You could see the joy in the kids’ eyes.”
The Lions won a district football championship two years ago.
Terrance Carter had TD runs of 14 and 57 yards for Liberty Hill.
The Lions marched down the field on their first possession of the game and Carter scored from 14 yards to put Liberty Hill up 6-0.
The Lions forced a Falcon punt on the next series and the Lions continued where they left off. Nehemiah Costley scored on a 22-yard run.
Marcus Maple capped the Lions’ 18-point opening quarter with a 67-yard interception return.
Liberty Hill added another score after an onside kick was recovered by Domini Choquette. Mikail Denton caught a 23-yard TD pass from Carter and the Lions led 24-0 at the half.
The Falcons broke through in the third quarter with a long TD run by the quarterback to pull within 24-7.
But Carter answered with a 57-yard TD and the Lions regained the momentum.
The Falcons added a late TD run in the fourth quarter for the final margin.
Malyke Whitted also contributed for the Liberty Hill offense.
Leading the Lions defense were Leo Rhome III, Demontre Brown, R’Jai Rogers and Romeo Tuaa.