By Jason Chlapek
Killeen Daily Herald
COPPERAS COVE – There are still less than three months before the start of the 2009 football season, but members of the Shoemaker football team were feeling pretty good Tuesday.
The Grey Wolves went 3-0 during the first week of Cen-Tex Passing League 7-on-7 action at Copperas Cove High. Shoemaker beat Ellison (31-6), Salado (13-12) and Belton (26-20 in overtime).
For wide receiver/cornerback Romael Willis, 7-on-7 isn't just about wins and losses.
"We're trying to see what we do well and what we need to work on," Willis said. "All of our starting receivers graduated so this is a good opportunity for us to work on our routes and timing."
Willis caught the go-ahead touchdown pass from Jamiell Showers in the win against Salado and the game-winner against Belton. Stefan Young intercepted David Ash's first pass of the Tigers' overtime possession to preserve the win for the Grey Wolves.
Other standouts for Shoemaker included receivers Andre Franklin and L.T. Jones.
Cove is second in the league standings at 3-1. The Bulldawgs dropped the opener to Belton, 28-20, before finishing strong with wins over Killeen (13-6), Temple (20-14) and Ellison (21-0). Receivers Brelan Chancellor, Nik Greene and Johnny Sirmans provided plenty of options for quarterback Cody Vaughn.
While Cove 7-on-7 director Jeremy Shannon was pleased with his team's offensive performance, he was ecstatic about the Dawgs' defensive play as well.
"Our defense made some timely interceptions and stands," Shannon said. "We hope to jel as a team before the (Lake Travis) state qualifier on Saturday."
Salado made plenty of noise, especially on defense, as the Eagles blanked Killeen 6-0, and battled Ellison to a scoreless tie before dropping a one-point decision to Shoemaker. Shannon Ponder caught the game-winning touchdown pass against Killeen as well as one against Shoemaker. Cole Calder returned an interception for a score for the Eagles' other touchdown against Shoemaker.
Ellison (0-3-1) struggled offensively throughout as the Eagles were shut out twice and scored just once against Shoemaker. But they took Belton to the brink in a 21-13 loss. Ellison got touchdowns from Devante Cloud and Germaine Lindsey against the Tigers, and Lynn Grady scored the touchdown against Shoemaker.
Kyle Skinner threw all three touchdown passes for the Eagles, who operate the run-heavy wing-T offense.
Killeen (0-3) lost each game by eight points or less. The Roos lost to Salado by six, Cove by seven and Temple by eight. Deontre Huey caught a touchdown pass against Cove and Ja'Corie Baker returned an interception for a touchdown against Temple.
The Cen-Tex Passing League resumes Tuesday at Belton High.
Contact Jason Chlapek at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7565.