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Wolves run down Tigers, close in on playoff berth

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FORT HOOD — To the horror of the Belton football team on Friday, Shoemaker rediscovered the offense it didn’t have the week before. To the delight of the Grey Wolves, the offense put them on the verge of a rarity in school history: a trip to the postseason.

Shoemaker scored 27 unanswered points to pull away for a 62-42 win over Belton in a District 8-5A game at Hood Stadium. The big-play offense of the Grey Wolves was clicking as they needed just 11 plays for the four touchdowns scored in the run.

Shoemaker’s offense was fueled by 332 total yards and six touchdowns from quarterback Ziere Banner, 268 yards and two touchdowns rushing by Rayshun

Spearman and Nahome Anderson making three receptions for 132 yards and three touchdowns. The Grey Wolves scored 10 touchdowns on 13 drives and did not have a punt. Shoemaker’s offensive outburst came after its 7-3 upset of Waco Midway last week, with the lone touchdown coming off a fumble return.

“We didn’t like not scoring. We went back to the film room and we worked,” Banner said. “We did what we do best with our running, but we did pretty good in our passing game, too.”

Shoemaker (6-3, 4-2 District 8-5A) won its third straight game and is on the edge of its second playoff appearance in school history, one that can be clinched with a win over Ellison, which has lost 29 consecutive games, next Friday. Belton (2-7, 2-4) has lost four consecutive games and is all but eliminated from postseason contention heading into next Friday’s home game against Midway. The loss spoiled a big passing game by Belton quarterback Shane Stafford, who threw for 382 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Shoemaker tied the game at 42-42 on a 45-yard pass from Banner to Anderson with 4:39 left in the third quarter. After forcing Belton to punt, Dwayne Williams had a 33-yard punt return for the Grey Wolves to the Belton 8-yard line, setting up a 2-yard touchdown run by Banner two plays later.

The biggest play of the game was a 93-yard touchdown run by Spearman with 10:19 remaining to give Shoemaker a 56-42 lead. Belton’s hopes to rally ended on downs at the Shoemaker 28-yard line on its next drive, which was hampered by an 18-yard penalty for intentional grounding.

“They’ve got a quality quarterback who can run, receivers that can run and number 23 (Spearman) can run,” Belton coach Rodney Southern said. “I told our team afterward, you’ve got to have pride, finish it out and the seniors need to go out the right way.”

Stafford passed for 238 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. The Tigers took a 28-14 lead when Chase McCoshum returned a Banner fumble 52 yards for a touchdown with 8:50 left in the second quarter.

Banner recovered for a 45-yard touchdown run with 5:18 left in the first half.

The Grey Wolves recovered the ensuing onside kick and tied the game at 28 on a 5-yard touchdown run and a 2-point conversion run by Qwoy

Blunt with 3:10 left. The Tigers rallied for a 59-yard drive capped by a

5-yard bootleg touchdown run by Stafford with 13 seconds remaining to

give Belton a 35-28 halftime lead.

Andre Ewing finished with 105 yards receiving for the Tigers.

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