By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
The Roos find themselves undefeated through the first three weeks of the season and looking for win No. 4 tonight against Pflugerville Connally at 7 p.m. at Leo Buckley Stadium.
Killeen coach Sam Jones agrees that how they have come to win their first three games is more impressive than being undefeated.
"I think that it's good to be in this situation," Jones said. "We could easily be 0-3, 1-2 or 2-1, but we've done what we needed to do to be 3-0. Winning becomes a habit just like losing could become a habit.
"In football, you're going to have your ups and downs, but once you learn how to win, you'd be surprised what can happen."
Even though the Roos have been successful, Jones prologued his pleasure at being unbeaten with a reminder that neither his offense nor his defense has been a constant, except with the game on the line.
"It takes a young defense about three weeks to get used to the flow and speed of a varsity game," Jones said. "They've played well at times, we're just not consistent. Consistency is what we're looking for."
Harker Heights running back Chris High exploited the Roos' defense for almost 150 yards in the first half, but was held to a third of that in the second.
That same defense held the Knights to a three-and-out and minus-4 yards of offense with five minutes to play. That defensive stand set up the Roos' 79-yard, game-winning drive punctuated by junior running back Marcus Tillman's 4-yard touchdown run with 1:15 to play.
The defense held Ellison outside of the goal line on a two-point conversion in double-overtime to give the Roos their first win on Sept. 1.
"Killeen is very comparable to Ellison," Pflugerville coach Howard McMahan said. "They beat Ellison in the first game of the series. If we play our very best and don't beat ourself, we have a chance to win."
Down 7-3 in the fourth quarter against Ellison last week, the Cougars (1-1) had their opportunities to win, but wound being their own worst enemy.
"We had a good chance to win the game," McMahan, last year's defensive coordinator in Copperas Cove, said. "We were down 7-3 in the fourth quarter, but red zone penalties and turnovers cost us the game. Bottom line, we had a chance to win."
Instead, Ellison quarterback Ivan Delgado led the Eagles' offense to 13 fourth-quarter points en route to Ellison's 20-3 win.
The Eagles have outscored opponents 43-3 since Delgado returned to the team after missing the Eagles' season-opening loss to the Roos.
Five turnovers last week aside, the Cougars' offense has been kicker Matt Seeman. Seeman's leg has scored 12 of Connally's 19 points this season. Darius Darks' 6-yard run in the third quarter of Connally's 16-6 win over Fredericksburg on Sept. 7 is the only TD the Cougars have put on the board.
Darks started as the Cougars' quarterback against Ellison and completed 5-of-16 passes for 107 yards and two interceptions and carried the ball 12 times for 26 yards and has 78 yards on 14 carries through the Cougars' first two games.
Josh Hernandez (2-5-0-28 passing and 6-37 rushing), the starter before being injured against Fredericksburg, might return to the backfield this week, but McMahan is giving nothing away.
Jones describes Darks as being more of a runner and Hernandez as being more of a passer and tight end Chase Harper (2-20) as being on the verge of a break-out game.
"They're a lot like us," Jones said. "They have a lot of talent. They've got kids that can run and skilled kids at all the key positions. I think if they have an edge it's that they're playing a little bit better defense that we are."
Connally's defense was the difference in last year's meeting between the two teams in Pflugerville. They held the Roos to just 142 yards of offense and two field goals in the Cougars' 12-8 win. The Roos also scored on a 99-yard interception return by James Biven on a two-point conversion try.
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562.