The Kangaroos had one goal Thursday night: Redemption.
Last week, Killeen head coach Neil Searcy said his team let the season opener against Round Rock Stony Point slip away, but the Kangaroos bounced back to beat Cedar Park Vista Ridge 43-6 in their home opener behind a standout performance from sophomore Kadarius Marshall.
The Kangaroos’ first possession saw junior quarterback James Terry scramble up the middle for a dozen yards to the opponent’s 33-yard line. Then, Terry handed the ball off to Marshall, who rushed for a combined for 12 yards on two carries to put Killeen ahead 7-0.
Chris Ingram led the defense in the first quarter with two tackles, limiting the Rangers to only 6 yards on their second possession of the game.
Killeen’s offense worked its way to the 26-yard line, where Terry handed off the ball once more to Marshall, who ran straight into the end zone to give Killeen a 14-0 lead with 4 minutes, 26 seconds left in the first quarter.
Vista Ridge responded late in the quarter, but a fumble on the extra point resulted in the Rangers trailing 14-6.
The second quarter started off a bit rocky for the Kangaroos as they fumbled the ball on the first play, but Vista Ridge had a turnover of its own, and Willie McGee recovered the Rangers’ fumble at the Vista Ridge 39-yard line.
Terry connected with senior D.J. Dormeus for a 38-yard pass into the end zone to give the Kangaroos a 21-6 lead.
While the Rangers inched closer to the end zone, quarterback Drew Cantu attempted to scramble up the middle but lost possession of the ball.
Killeen players dove on the ball,
and senior defensive back Taluai Hisatake was at the bottom to recover the fumble for the Kangaroos.
Starting at the 38-yard line, Terry handed the ball off to Marshall, who dodged through Rangers defenders for another touchdown.
The Kangaroos attempted a two-point conversion, and junior wide receiver Brandon Fox carried the ball into the end zone as Killeen led 29-6 with 1:59 left in the first half.
But it was not enough.
Vista Ridge dropped the ball on the kickoff return, and Killeen recovered the ball at the 25-yard line.
Killeen’s offense worked its way to the 11-yard line, and Terry found junior wide receiver Nate Kamper in the left corner for the Kangaroos’ fifth touchdown of the first half with a second left on the clock, giving them a 36-6 advantage at halftime.
Marshall broke away early in the fourth quarter for a 74-yard carry for his fourth touchdown of the game as the Kangaroos led 43-6.
The defense was led by Ingram with three tackles for a loss and two sacks followed by Tulamalosi Lefotu with three tackles. McGee recorded two tackles and a late third-quarter carry for 27-yards to put the Kangaroos within scoring position to start the fourth quarter.
Killeen will start its District 12-6A schedule Thursday at Leo Buckley Stadium against Waco Midway. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.