By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
The Killeen Kangaroos are predicted to finish fourth in the final 16-4A standings and miss the playoffs for the third consecutive year, thus sayeth the gospel of Dave Campbell in the newly released Texas Football magazine. If a summer 7-on-7 squad can be any indication of upcoming fall success, the Kangaroos might pass right over others' preseason expectations of them.
The 7-on-7 Kangaroos went undefeated in their only scheduled state-qualifier tournament in Paris on Saturday and will join 63 other qualifiers on July 13-14 at Texas A&M University in College Station.
"We had a long, five-hour drive (to Paris) Friday night," Killeen High 7-on-7 coach Robert Hawkins said. "This was the only qualifier tournament we could schedule so I didn't know what to expect."
The Roos knocked off John Tyler 39-32, Arlington High 48-39 and Longview Pine Tree 41-20 in pool play and then bounced Sulphur Springs 48-34 in the semifinals to earn them the College Station invite. The top two teams in each qualifier advance to the state tournament.
In the final, against Sherman, the Roos led 13-7 at halftime, but Sherman put the go-ahead score on the board with less than a minute remaining to give them a 27-26 lead. Alijuwon White hit Levi Fuson at the buzzer, though, to lay claim to the lead when it mattered, 32-27.
Fuson had three touchdown catches in the game and T.J. Hill and Tarius Caines each hauled in one. In all, Fuson grabbed 14 touchdown passes in the five games.
White, who completed just over 40 percent of his passes with 12 interceptions last season in his varsity Roos' debut, threw 30 touchdowns and only three interceptions in the Paris tournament.
"They seemed to just have a good time on the field all day," Hawkins said. "I'm most impressed with how they held themselves on the field. They were poised and kept their composure and it was good to see how well they worked together."
White threw touchdowns passes to Hill, Caines, Michael Franklin, Jay Gould and Kenny Robinson in addition to Fuson.
Hawkins added that not only did White, Hill and Fuson connect often for scores, they also teamed up for big third-down conversion plays.
The defense also came up big when needed, Hawkins said.
Bryan Holloway recorded two interceptions; one on a key fourth-down play and the other he returned for a score. Jonathon Edwards also hauled in two intercpetions and Jamal Gunns and Anthony Shaw each picked off a pass.
Hawkins also pointed to Corey Pettaway, Quentin Davis and Tamarcus Brown as having strong, overall defensive efforts through the tournament.
"Just to see them all work together the way they did was pretty awesome," Hawkins said. "This definitely gives the school something to be proud of and look forward to in the fall."
The Roos return to their area league on Thursday with a trip to Belton High to take on league teams, Belton, Ellison, Harker Heights, Shoemaker, Copperas Cove and Lampasas.
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7562.