By Tony Altobelli
Killeen Daily Herald
As great as last week's 49-48 overtime win over Harker Heights was, KHS football coach Sam Jones knows that his team needs to return to the business at hand and prepare for the Austin Reagan Raiders.
No matter how easy it would be to take the 0-2 Raiders for granted, Jones wants no part of that philosophy as the two teams hook up for a 7 p.m. matchup tonight at Leo Buckley Stadium
"They're the type of team that gets better and better as the season rolls on," Jones said of tonight's opponent. "They've showed improvement every time they've hit the field.
"I'm glad we're playing them early in the season."
The Raiders, despite their poor start, do have some speed and quickness in some high-profile positions and they need to be taken seriously.
"From what I've seen, they're defense is strong and they have some athletes at running back and at wide receiver," Jones said of Reagan. "They've also shown the ability to throw the ball with some success, so we need to be ready for a strong game."
The Rattlers have opened the season with back-to-back losses, including a 25-6 setback over Lampasas last week at Austin's Nelson Field.
In the loss, Reagan was held to a microscopic 114 yards of total offense, 40 on the ground, but Jones isn't taking any chances.
"Right now, our guys feeling good about themselves and are trying to come down from the cloud we were on following our win last week, but we'll have them ready to go," Jones said. "It will help playing them at home."
Reagan, which has 10 starters (three on offense, seven on defense) returning from last year's 6-5 squad that reached the Division II playoffs, is lead by the defensive trio of linebacker Terell Mosley, who averaged 10 tackles per game. DB/WR Jahhari McLennan and DB Ryan Shern will play both ways for the Rattlers and give quarterback Dominic Dawson.
Meanwhile, the Roos (2-1) will continue their successful ways with an offense running on all cylinders, led by quarterback Columbus Givens (363 passing yards, six touchdowns, 283 rushing yards, two TDs), running backs Jamel Jackson (32 carries, 329 yards) and Donald Fulbright and wide receivers Juaquin Iglesias (18 receptions, 402 yards, six touchdowns) and Chandos Daniels (10-143-1).
Despite the 48 points allowed to Heights, the Roos have seen improvement on the defensive side of the ball. They kept the high-scoring Knights to just 14 points in the second half and overtime.
"We're young, but we're getting stronger," Jones said of his defensive unit. "Practicing against our offense and playing at that fast a speed has been the best thing for our guys."
Contact Tony Altobelli at firstname.lastname@example.org