Down 19-0 in the third quarter to Ellison on Friday night, Killeen High junior quarterback Marcellus Johnson still felt his team was going to do something special.
“I felt it the whole time,” Johnson said afterward. “The whole game, I felt it. I was like, ‘I know we’re going to win this game. We’re going to do this.'”
The Kangaroos scored 26 straight points on four touchdowns, the last of which occurred on an 11-yard run by Johnson to give them a 26-19 lead with two minutes, 20 seconds left to play. The extra point was blocked, however, and the Eagles had time to try to tie the game.
Ellison senior quarterback Carl Robinson III led his team right down the field to score, as he connected with junior wide receiver Ta’von Gwynn on a 36-yard touchdown pass to pull his team within one, at 26-25, with just 1:09 remaining on the clock.
But the extra point was missed, and Killeen held on for a stunning one-point win.
“That Kangaroo spirit, like I talked about last week,”Roos senior defensive end Shakim Wright said. “That Kangaroo pride, as a matter of fact. We all have it, and we all played on it tonight.
“We had that boost of confidence from last week, and we excelled on it.”
Killeen scored its first touchdown at the 5:50 mark in the third quarter, as Johnson found junior wide receiver Montego Muckelvaney for a 61-yard touchdown pass to make the score 19-7 in favor of the Eagles.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Roos converted a successful fourth down on a quarterback sneak at their own 13-yard line. On the next play, senior receiver Robert Noble hauled in a deflected pass on the right sideline and raced 84 yards to pay dirt to make the score 19-14, Ellison, with 11:24 left to play.
With 8:18 remaining in the contest, senior running back Diamantae Barr culminated a six-play, 53-yard drive with a 5-yard scoring run to put Killeen ahead 20-19 after the subsequent two-point conversion failed.
Roos senior linebacker Jamaal King was then able to recover an Eagle fumble on the next possession right at midfield, and it set Killeen up for Johnson’s scoring gallop.
Johnson finished the game with 155 rushing yards on 25 carries while completing 10 of 15 passes for 183 yards.
The two defenses controlled the game for the majority of the first half, but that all changed thanks to a special teams play just a few minutes into the second quarter. Ellison blocked a Killeen punt and was set up with a short field at the Roo 31-yard line.
The Killeen defense held firm and allowed the Eagles to pick up just five yards on three plays to bring up a fourth-and-5 situation.
Ellison went for it, and Robinson rolled to his right and found senior wide receiver Jayden Smith along the right sideline for a first down. Smith made some nifty moves after the catch and was finally pushed out of bounds at the 2-yard line.
Senior running back Darrell Peterkine culminated the possession with a 2-yard run to put Ellison up 7-0.
With time winding down in the first half, the Eagles struck again on a trick play on third-and- 17 from their own 25. Robinson threw a lateraled screen pass to sophomore running back Tyereon Hill, and Hill raised up a connected with Gwynn for a 75-yard touchdown pass.
The score put Ellison up 13-0 with just 42 seconds remaining until halftime after the extra-point attempt failed.
Gwynn racked up seven catches for 162 yards on the night.
The Eagles scored again at the 9:09 mark in the third quarter on a 36-yard scamper by Hill to go up 19-0, but the tides then quickly turned, and Johnson and the Roos stole the show.