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Kangaroos' defense handles young offense

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Posted: Saturday, May 31, 2008 12:00 pm | Updated: 5:08 pm, Wed Aug 15, 2012.

By Kevin Posival

Killeen Daily Herald

Killeen's young offenses combined for 20 yards and one first down and the experienced defenses combined for 13 points in the first quarter on a pair of interceptions, but the difference Friday night in Killeen's Maroon-White scrimmage was junior kicker and punter Reynaldo Marshall.

Marshall kicked the go-ahead field goal from 32 yards out halfway through the third quarter for the white team and had a chance at a 43-yard game-winner for the maroon team, but his attempt sailed wide left, leaving the final 9-7.

"I didn't want either team to lose," Marshall said.

Marshall replaces Matt Funk and knows the burden of replacing the Roos' kicker for the last three years.

"I want to do well because he was a great kicker," Marshall said.

The defenses kept Marshall busy by consistently shutting down both offenses until Ja'Corie Baker drove the white team 93 yards in seven minutes.

Baker, who was the No. 3 quarterback along with wide receiver and free safety, threw three straight completions on the drive and running back Jaquail Haskins carried the ball five times for 55 yards, but had his 5-yard scoring run negated because of an offensive holding call.

"The offenses looked good at spots. You could tell they were young but they couldn't finish," Killeen coach Sam Jones said.

The maroon team scored on the white team's first possession after Nick Parks returned Jerome Walker's first pass 20 yards with 9 1/2 to play in the first quarter. When Walker flipped to the maroon sideline to run their next offensive series, he threw his second pick to Virnin Bonner who returned it 25 yards to pull the white team within one after Alejandro Garcia missed the extra point.

Freshman Michael Cummings hit Deonte Epps on an eight-yard pass for the first first down by either team with under a minute to play in the first quarter. Cummings ran for another first two plays later, but didn't make it to the white side of the field before Marshall was called up for his fifth punt of the game that pinned the white team down at their own two.

Haskins carried the ball 20 times for 113 yards for the white team while returning running back, Marcus Tillman carried 10 times for 19 yards after losing yards on his first three carries.

"The defense was dominant the first part of spring training," Jones said. "I thought the defense ran to the ball well and I liked their intensity."

Cummings hit 50 percent of his passes for 109 yards throwing for the maroon team and completed 4-of-7 for 31 yards for the white team and rushed for a combined 48 yards. Baker completed 5-of-8 for 61 yards.

"He'll be very effective as a double threat," Jones said.

Dane Beasley caught two passes from Cummings including a 41-yarder as the maroon team mounted their last drive in the final two minutes.

"My only concern is the kicking game," Jones said. "Any time you lose three people; a long-snapper, a punter and a kicker from the last three years, it's hard to replace them. Other than that, I really like that they matured over the spring. It all depends on what we do over the summer."

The Roos 7-on-7 schedule starts today at Waco Midway at 5:30 p.m. in the first of four state qualifier's tournaments.

Contact Kevin Posival at kposival@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7562.

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