Home-field advantage may be on Killeen’s side in its District 12-6A opener against Waco Midway tonight.
While the Panthers are predicted by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football to take the district title, they are off to an 0-1 start, and trailed 10-0 last week against Mansfield Lake Ridge at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas when the game was canceled because of lightning.
On the other hand, Killeen (1-1) was predicted to place sixth in the nine-team district, but the Kangaroos are delivering breakout performances on both sides of the ball.
“It feels good to come back out and get up like that in the first half,” Killeen head coach Neil Searcy said following Killeen’s 43-6 victory against Cedar Park Vista Ridge last week at home.
The Kangaroos scored five times in the first half, including a successful two-point conversion by junior wide receiver Brandon Fox.
“To be able to finish a football game in the second half and play a complete game, that’s what we’ve been looking for,” Searcy added.
Offensively, sophomore running back Kadarius Marshall has 346 yards on 37 carries, while senior running back Demariontae Moore is second for the Kangaroos in rushing with 52 yards in 15 attempts.
Senior wide receiver D.J. Dormeus emerged with seven receptions for 114 yards, including a touchdown, and junior wide receiver Nate Kamper finished with six receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown.
James Terry, a junior quarterback, completed 29 of 47 pass attempts for 341 yards and three touchdowns in his two varsity starts.
“Winning in this district, you’re going to have to have some team wins,” Searcy said. “We’ve got to play well on offense, we’ve got to play well on defense, and we’ve got to play well on special teams.”
Senior linebacker Chris Ingram leads the Killeen defense with 11 solo tackles and six assists. Close behind is junior defensive end Amir Ward, who has 10 solo tackles and six assists in the first two games.
Willie McGee punted 11 times for 328 yards, including one that landed inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
“These guys look forward to playing every week,” said Searcy, “and we don’t have a bye until later on in the season, but right now, if we keep playing better than we did the week before, and we can keep that up, I kind of like our chances.”
Tonight’s kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Leo Buckley Stadium.
“Keep hanging in there with us and keep coming out,” Searcy urged fans. “We need to see you in the stands.”