By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
Akeem Harrison had catching up to do.
That explained the almost angry way the Killeen senior tight end caught six touchdowns Tuesday in 7-on-7 Cen-Tex Passing League action at Killeen.
"Basically, my rule is: if the ball's in the air and it's coming to you, go up and go get it. I stuck by that the whole time and I came down with every one of them," Harrison said.
But that doesn't explain the cerebral way the Roos went 3-0 Tuesday, beating Belton 27-20, Salado 33-0 and Copperas Cove 27-12.
"It just shows that we have that heart and that drive to push through anything and that when it comes to game time on Friday nights, we're not going to back down from no challenge, no matter who the opponent is," Harrison said.
Killeen quarterback Garrett Gaskamp threw 11 touchdowns and safety Deric Robertson, who's committed to Oklahoma State, had four interceptions - two each against Salado and Copperas Cove.
"If nobody fears your defense, they're going to try to light you up all game," said Robertson, who also scored an offensive touchdown against Salado. "The thing that we're really just trying to get across is: you're going to have to fear us, and you're going to have to respect us."
Belton went 2-1, Cove and Troy both went 1-2 and Salado went 0-3.
The final Cen-Tex Passing League game is next Tuesday. Killeen junior running back Daniel McCants caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the final minutes to preserve the Roos' win over Belton.
Killeen led 14-0 early, but the Tigers quickly cut that to 14-12 after Shane Stafford's touchdown throw to Chase Thornal and Brandon Julian's pick-6.
Harrison then caught the second of his two touchdowns in the game for a 20-12 Killeen lead. Peter Shelburne answered with a scoring strike to Malik Jackson and a game-tying two-point conversion to Thornal. But after McCants' score, the Tigers had just enough time to run a couple of unsuccessful plays.
"We've built up our chemistry during offseason. We had it last season, but we didn't really use it to our ability last year because I was sophomore and they didn't trust me," Gaskamp said. "This season, I think they're going to let me air it out."
The Roos' defense took care of Salado. The Eagles, rotating between quarterbacks Davis Little and Marshall Mann, didn't pick up a single first down and turned the ball over three times in their shutout loss.
"If you're going to throw it up in the secondary, somebody's going to bat it down, somebody's going to pick it," Robertson said. "If you run the ball, we're coming up, making tackles. We're all just out there just trying to make plays and try to repeat having the best defense in the district."
Robbie Seybold's touchdown throw to Girod Fluelen to cap Cove's opening possession against Killeen gave the Dawgs an early 6-0 lead. But it was short-lived.
After a couple of short-yardage attempts, Gaskamp completed three straight passes to Harrison, including the go-ahead tying touchdown and go-ahead extra point.
Killeen's defense then wrapped two defensive stands around Robertson's first interception, and Gaskamp threw touchdown passes to Dominique Dunga and Harrison for a 19-6 Roos' lead.
Seybold threw a touchdown pass to Julian Doubleday to cut Killeen's lead to within a score, but Harrison's final touchdown catch on the Roos' next drive sealed the win.
"Everybody knows their job, they know their position, they know their roles," Harrison said. "If one of us isn't open, somebody else is. We intertwine so good; we've got that chemistry so good to where we can look at each other, we know what we're doing and we get the ball to who it needs to go to."