By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
WACO — The Killeen Kangaroos gave Waco Midway a short field early and still found a way to stay in the game. But the Panthers outscored the Roos 17-0 in the final period en route to a 45-21 win Friday night.
Now the Roos have a long field to traverse if they are going to be one of District 16-4A’s top three teams.
“We’re a better team than we showed tonight,” Killeen coach Sam Jones said.
“We played spotty throughout, even our punting game was off. We’ll look at the film, grade ourselves and come up a with a better game next week.”
The Roos travel to No. 10 Brownwood next Friday night to take on the Lions, who upset No. 1 Copperas Cove 17-10 Friday night in Cove.
“I think we’ll be ready to play,” Jones said of the first of three straight contests against ranked opponents. “Only a win is going to make us feel better about ourselves. This is our second straight loss and only a win will get that taste out of our mouths. We’ll see what kind of character we have.”
Panther’s running John Hubert rushed for 279 yards and four of Midway’s six touchdowns on 24 carries and at one point had three consecutive to end the first half and open the second half.
Hubert sprinted for a 65-yarder on the second play of the second half to give the Panthers a two touchdown advantage and they never looked back.
The Roos answered with a 67-yard, 4½-minute drive that Marcus Tillman capped with his only touchdown of the night, a 5-yarder around the left side.
The Roos had a shot to tie it when Eric Oliver intercepted Panthers quarterback Todd Glaesmann at the Killeen 36-yard line, but after another 4½-minute drive, the Roos got as close as the Midway 39 and Titus Barnes’ run on a fake punt on fourth-and-seven came up three yards short and the ball turned over on downs.
Hubert found paydirt three minutes later on a 12-yard run with a 10:50 to play in the fourth quarter.
“I don’t think we were flat,” Jones said. “Our defense had a good start, got a goal-line stand, our offense didn’t move the ball. Midway matches up with us well. They have some quick backers — our linemen were chasing them all night.”
Despite the losing effort, Killeen quarterback Alijawon White did pick up 110 yards through the air to get him over the 1,000-yard mark. He completed 11-of-24 passes and threw an interception, but not a single touchdown.
White also rushed 21 times for 122 yards and scored once on the ground.
Levi Fuson led the receiving corps with five catches for 52 yards.
The Panthers had the opening quarter advantage with an average starting field position on the Killeen 37, but could only score once in the period despite three trips inside the Killeen 20, including once inside the Roos’ 1-yard line.
Ryan Kelly missed a 31-yard field goal wide left on the Panther’s first offensive trip.
Glaesmann, making his first start since the Panther’s first game, ran in the Panthers’ first score from 12 yards out.
The Roos totaled only 16 yards on nine plays and not a single first down in the first period, but exploded for 142 yards and 14 points in the second quarter.
White had a 5-yard scoring run and Marcus Tillman (11-49) scored on a 1-yard dive, but the Panthers stayed a step ahead.
With the score tied at 14, Glaesmann (2-7-1-46) connected with Matt Davis on a 43-yard pass with less than 20 seconds to play in the first half.
Hubert finished the drive with a 1-yard run to give the Panthers a 21-14 lead at half.
Contact Kevin Posival at email@example.com or (254) 501-7562.