By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
The curse of Leo Buckley still haunts the Brownwood Lions.
In 2004, the Lions lost to Killeen High, and then Ellison in 2005 and last night, the Kangaroos extended the tradition another year beating the Lions 33-6.
After a disappointing loss last week at the hands of the Midway Panthers, the Kangaroos (4-3, 1-1) needed the victory to keep their playoff ambitions manageable.
"I thought our kids were disappointed with the loss last week," Killeen High coach Sam Jones said.
"Tonight's performance started Monday. We had a good practice Monday and Tuesday and again on Wednesday. It's just like night and day," Jones added, comparing Friday night's win to last week's 31-7 loss to Midway.
Jones wanted to come into this game and keep the Brownwood (2-5, 0-2) offense off the field. Mostly because of the potency in sophomore quarterback Casey Pachall's arm and legs. The Kangaroos ran the ball for 414 of their total 494 yards to "melt the clock" as Jones said.
"The offensive coaches did a great job with the game planning and utilizing the offensive line. The offensive line did its job making holes for the running backs, the receivers did a great job blocking downfield. It was a three-prong win," Jones said, "offense, defense and special teams."
Of the four Lion turnovers, the Kangaroos flipped three for 15 points, the last a 95-yard scoring interception return by Justin Harkness with 4:30 left to go in the game.
The win puts the Kangaroos back into playoff contention with games against Waco High next week in Waco and No. 8 Copperas Cove the Thursday after.
Nicolas Norman led the Roos' offense with 116 yards on 13 carries. Alijawon White had 91 yards on seven carries, including a 50-yard sprint to set up his 2-yard touchdown run four plays later. Donte James had 84 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown.
White also threw five completions of 12 attempts for 80 yards with a touchdown.
Pachall was 18-of-28 for 219 yards through the air and picked up 68 yards on 14 carries on the ground to lead the Lion runners. Thomas Beck had 16 yards on 10 carries and the single Brownwood touchdown, a 1-yard run with four minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Lions only mustered 309 total yards of offense through the night.
"We just never found that consistency," Brownwood coach Steve Freeman said. "Every time we got a drive going, we'd turn the ball over. It's like when asked to step up, Killeen said 'yeah' and we say 'nay.'"
After the Lions turned the ball over on downs after their first series, the Kangaroos drove the ball 46 yards on the shoulders of Norman and James. The drive killed 4 minutes off the first quarter clock, but the Roos were unable to walk away from a first-and-goal from the Brownwood 9 with points. Matt Funk's 19-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide right to give the ball back to the Lions on their own 20.
On the Lions' next drive, Thomas Beck fumbled the ball on the Kangaroo 14, recovered by Killeen's James Biven. Two plays later, a miscommunication tango in the Killeen backfield between White, Norman and Anthony Ezell resulted in the Kangaroos' only turnover of the game.
The Lions were unable to convert a fourth-and-14 at the Kangroo 29 and the Roos drove the ball 14 yards in seven plays, but still could not put any points on the board.
Chris Saunders intercepted Pachall's second-and-four pass to give the ball back to the Roos on the Lions' 49 yard-line. The Roos drove the ball to the Brownwood 20 before James was able to stumble into the end zone after being hit by the pile at the 15.
Chris Munson had to punt for the Lions on Brownwood's next possession. The Roos again drove the ball, this time starting at their own 31 before White connected with Biven on a 46-yard touchdown toss to give the Roos a 14-0 lead going into halftime.
The Kangaroos travel to Waco next Friday to play the Waco High Lions at 7:30 p.m. The Lions return to Brownwood to face University at 7:30 p.m.
Contact Kevin Posival at firstname.lastname@example.org