Killeen High kept itself in the playoff hunt.
Last Thursday against Shoemaker, the Kangaroos received an excellent performance from their defense, and their offense made a big drive when they had to in order to come out on top 16-13.
Their defense held the Grey Wolves to just 172 yards of offense, and their offense traveled 81 yards on 12 plays to score the game-winning touchdown on a 1-yard run by quarterback Marcellus Johnson with 44 seconds left to win.
Wide receiver Montego Muckelvaney caught five passes for 84 yards in the game, as well.
“It was big for our kids,” Killeen head coach Neil Searcy said. “We hadn’t won a game since the first week, and it was the first district win. It was huge for us.”
Ellison is also coming off a big 35-33 win over Harker Heights last Friday to improve its chances of clinching its first postseason berth since 2007.
The Eagles were down 20-7 late in the second quarter, but were able to score 28 straight points to take a commanding 35-20 lead over the Knights in the third, and they held on for the two-point victory.
Ellison (6-1, 2-1 District 8-6A) received strong performances from quarterback Carl Robinson III and wide receiver Jyaire Shorter.
Robinson completed 15 of 20 passes for 291 yards and four touchdowns, all to Shorter. Shorter finished the game with eight receptions for 187 yards.
The Eagles also received solid contributions from their running game against Heights in the form of 124 yards on 29 carries. Darrell Peterkine led the team with 19 carries for 100 yards.
Tonight at Leo Buckley Stadium, the two teams will meet with the hopes of continuing the momentum each built up with last week’s performances.
While the discussion might center on what Killeen (2-5, 1-2) can do defensively and the high-powered offense of Ellison, special teams came up big for both a week ago.
The Roos received three field goals from place-kicker Hector Velazquez of 28, 46 and 44 yards to put them in position to win the game with a touchdown.
The Eagles blocked a Knight field goal midway through the second quarter which ended up allowing them to win in the end, as Heights was forced to go for two points to tie after a late touchdown. But the Ellison defense held Knights running back Madu Eneli out of the end zone to keep it a two-point game.
“We talk about it all the time — it’s a third of the football game,” Searcy said. “It’s just as important as the offense or the defense. We have to be able to execute on special teams, and Hector did a great job of making those field goals — and they weren’t easy kicks.”
But indeed the big talk will be the Ellison offense against Killeen’s defense, and Searcy said there is a way the Roo offense can lend a helping hand in slowing down an Eagle attack that is averaging 417 yards and 37 points per outing.
“Keep them on the sidelines,” Searcy said. “We have to be able to run and throw the ball offensively in order to keep our defense fresh, and we just have to play well. We’ve still been looking for that consistency that I’ve been talking about all year long.”