By Clay Fowler
Killeen Daily Herald
LANCASTER Ken Gray has an arsenal of speedy veteran receivers at his fingertips and a three-year starter at quarterback through which to get them the ball.
But all the Shoemaker head football coach wanted to do Thursday night was pound his ground game.
The Grey Wolves compiled 171 yards rushing on 15 carries in a live half plus an additional 15-play set at Lancaster, defeating the 2004 4A playoff team, 14-0.
Following a Saturday scrimmage with Cedar Park, Gray was disappointed in one thing, the running game.
In SHS' 7-0 loss, senior running back Chris Poullard didn't get enough touches to satisfy the Shoemaker head coach.
"We weren't ready when Cedar Park came in last week," said Poullard, who carried nine times for 41 yards on Thursday. "This week we came to play. That three-hour bus ride (to Lancaster) was spent doing nothing but getting focused."
Poullard's running mate, Antwan Gibbs, may have stolen the show with a 64-yard bolt to the end zone through the middle of the Tigers' defense, notching the only touchdown of the live half of play.
The 5-foot-6, 160-pound junior is the only skill player who isn't a returning starter. Gibbs was the scrimmage's leading rusher with 76 yards on four carries.
Teamed with the 5-10, 195-pound Poullard, the two make for a difficult change of pace for a defense.
"Chris is going to carry the ball a bunch this year, be that more powerful back," said Gray, "but then you give the ball to Antwan and he's a little jet. They're a good combination."
The Shoemaker defense continued to impress. Despite returning just four starters to the offense's seven, The "D" pitched a shutout against a capable Lancaster offense.
The Tigers notched two first downs, but lost one fumble and was sacked once in their 15-play set. Despite allowing a fair amount of ball movement, SHS forced two Tiger punts and a turnover on downs in the live half.
"(Lancaster) has got some guys who we'll probably see playing on Saturday's next year," said Gray. "They're one of the fastest teams in the state. But our defense started at a high level this year they're only getting better."
Grey Wolf quarterback Keith Smith completed 6 of 17 passes for 64 yards, an interception and a touchdown.
Senior receiver Jonathan Presswood turned in a game-high three receptions for 45 yards and a score, sneaking behind the defense to haul in a floating 33-yard touchdown pass.
"I've been watching Shoemaker since before I got here," said Lancaster's fourth-year head coach Andrew Jackson. "They seem to get better every year."
Contact Clay Fowler at firstname.lastname@example.org