By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
He's replacing Michael Cummings, but Killeen sophomore quarterback Garrett Gaskamp's job isn't as difficult as that.
Behind a physical offensive line that is blocking for a stable of running backs and following the lead of Killeen's aggressive defense, Gaskamp and the Roos are thriving two weeks into what was supposed to be a rebuilding year.
Rarely unleashed a bit to throw the ball, Gaskamp completed 12 of 17 passes for 190 yards with one interception and was one of five different Killeen ball carriers to score in the Roos' 41-0 rout of Shoemaker at Leo Buckley Stadium on Friday.
"Last week and this week, I don't really have to do anything; I just hand it off and throw the ball," Gaskamp said. "They (the Killeen running backs) make you feel really confident. I can go to anyone. ... It's also nice having an offensive line that blocks, too."
Gaskamp, junior Devarri McCray and senior Victor Scott each had one rushing touchdown, sophomore Naaman Young had two and Keaton Morris scored on a 46-yard run on a fake punt as Killeen (2-0) tallied more than 420 yards, including 234 on the ground.
"We always say, 'We only have one football,' but when you've got talented kids, you try to give them all a chance to touch the ball and let them do what they do," Killeen coach Sam Jones said. "That's what Garrett has to do. He has to manage the team, don't overdo it, just hand it to them, throw the ball when needed, run it when needed."
For the second straight week, the Killeen defense afforded its young offense ample opportunities to run away, holding Shoemaker (0-2) to just 118 total yards and helping send the Grey Wolves to their 24th straight loss.
Shoemaker didn't do itself many favors, though, either.
The Grey Wolves fumbled the ball 10 times, mostly on off-target and high snaps, and lost one, which set up McCray's 7-yard touchdown run that gave Killeen a 14-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter.
"I definitely wouldn't call it a step back. We've got things to work on and that's what we're going to do," Shoemaker coach Channon Hall said.
"That's our M.O. right now," he added of the bad snaps. "We've got to fix it. We're going to have to do some soul-searching and get it fixed."
Shoemaker running back Johnny Jefferson was suited up but didn't play for disciplinary reasons, opening the door for Tyreese Crawford to handle the load of the Grey Wolves' carries.
The senior running back had seven carries for 29 yards, but Shoemaker mustered only 31 total rushing yards against the Roos' defense, which last week, gave up just 159 to run-heavy Ellison.
"We worked harder in practice and we're going to continue to work harder," Killeen defensive end Derriel Collins said. "We're working hard to get what we deserve."
Scott led Killeen with 76 yards on 12 carries, including 65 yards in the first half that included a 3-yard touchdown run seven minutes before halftime that gave the Roos' their 21-0 lead at the break.
Young had a 3-yard touchdown carry late in the first quarter, giving Killeen a 7-0 lead with 1:38 left, after a bad snap on a Shoemaker punt attempt landed the Roos a first-and-10 at the Shoemaker 12.
Killeen scored on its first three drives of the second half, beginning with Gaskamp's 1-yard touchdown run to cap a nine-play, 69-yard scoring drive that included a 42-yard completion to Devyn Willians and gave Killeen a 28-0 lead.
Young's second touchdown run, a 12-yarder, increased the lead to 35-0 on the second play of the fourth quarter and Keaton's fake-punt run stretched the margin even more.
"What we're trying to do on offense is open it up a little bit more, let Garrett throw the ball a little bit more," Jones said. "We're just happy that we're making giant steps."
Contact Kevin Posival at email@example.com or (254) 501-7562.