TEMPLE — Dominating. Overwhelming. Thorough. Impressive.
Any or all of those words accurately describe Temple’s 63-15 homecoming victory over winless Ellison on a cool Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.
A week after they blasted rival Belton 54-20, the Wildcats built additional positive momentum as they moved to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in District 8-5A, alone in second place and one game behind leader Waco Midway. In doing so, they handed Ellison (0-7, 0-4) its 27th consecutive defeat.
“We did a great job of building on our momentum from last week. We played really well,” Temple coach Mike Spradlin said after his team racked up 520 yards total offense and allowed only 214, much of that in the fourth quarter against reserve defenders.
“We challenged them and said, ‘If we’re as good as that (performance against Belton), let’s go do it again.’ We’re starting to play the kind of defense we can play and we’ve put two really good games together defensively.”
Jeff Carr ran for three first-half touchdowns on his way to a 173-yard night, Marques Hatcher rushed for three third-quarter touchdowns to highlight his 162-yard performance, and Chase Truelove connected with DeAngelo Bell for a 67-yard scoring pass.
Dewayne Dobbins had 58 rushing yards and a touchdown and Truelove ran for 54 yards as Temple compiled 402 ground yards after going for 452 at Belton.
“It’s working out well,” Spradlin said of the balanced rushing attack.
“Jeff and Marques are not the same type of runner, and they’re giving us a
chance to not wear a guy out. We’re keeping them fresh. I can’t say enough about how our linemen are playing.”
It actually was a big play on special teams that ignited the Wildcats’ scoring barrage.
Linebacker Michael Hicks got the scoring started 2 minutes into the game when Ellison’s punter received heavy pressure and kicked the ball into one of his protectors. It essentially was a blocked punt, and Hicks scooped the ball up at the Eagles’ 6-yard line and trotted into the end zone for the first of Temple’s nine touchdowns.
Temple’s defense then forced a three-and-out series, and after a short punt, speedy junior Carr cut through a hole, bounced to the outside and sprinted for a 33-yard touchdown for a 14-0 lead with 5 minutes gone.
Hicks then drilled Markus Carson for a 4-yard loss to force another punt, and on Temple’s next snap Bell beat his defender to haul in a long pass from Truelove en route to a 67-yard TD for a 21-0 lead.
Ellison responded with Hayward Clay’s 51-yard touchdown catch from Trenton Jones late in the first quarter, but that was just a speed bump for Temple.
Carr jetted down the right sideline for a 50-yard touchdown run 4 minutes into the second quarter, then scooted off left tackle for a 16-yard score a few minutes later as the Wildcats surged to a 35-7 halftime advantage.
Temple plays next Friday at Harker Heights (2-5, 2-2) in a rematch of the Wildcats’ 42-7 home defeat last year.