Just for the record, the old defensive coach inside Temple fourth-year head coach Scott Stewart never is going to be happy after his team allows 38 points, 477 yards and 25 first downs.
Fortunately for the Wildcats against Ellison on Friday night, they possessed a high-octane offensive attack that simply couldn’t be stopped.
Quarterback Vance Willis ran for two touchdowns and threw one to Tyson Magana before leaving as a precaution early in the third quarter, Anthony Jackson rushed for 149 yards and two TDs and Samari Howard contributed three 2-yard scoring runs as Temple defeated speedy QB Breezion Spiller and the persistent Eagles 64-38 at Leo Buckley Stadium.
Although Temple has scored 186 points in its last three wins against Belton, Killeen and Ellison (2-6, 2-4) and compiled 368 yards rushing and 544 total against the Eagles, Stewart wasn’t pleased after his defense’s struggles allowed dynamic runners Spiller, Damashja Harris (212 yards, 64-yard TD) and pesky Ellison to remain within striking distance.
“We didn’t change anything (in the second half) and Ellison didn’t change anything. They came out to grind the clock out, and we just all of a sudden can’t tackle,” said Stewart, whose team led 35-0 early in the second quarter and 43-8 at halftime before the Eagles came back. “I want to see consistency. I want to see people who look like they want to play football. I want to see guys who are willing to try to tackle good athletes instead of diving on the ground.
“I told them, ‘I’m not going to sugar-coat it. When it’s ugly, it’s ugly, and it was ugly.’”
Temple led 43-8 early in the third quarter when Willis, its dual-threat senior quarterback who rushed for 14- and 19-yard scores in the first half, was removed as a precaution after getting “folded up” on a pass play, Stewart said. Junior Luke Allen and sophomore Howard shared Temple’s QB duties the rest of the game.
The fleet-footed Spiller, 12-6A’s co-offensive player of the year last season, sparked Ellison with three touchdown runs and three 2-point conversion runs in the second half after his 12-yard TD pass to Traelen Williams and 2-point pass to Stacy Brown accounted for the Eagles’ only first-half points.
“We fought hard toward the end of the game,” said Spiller, whose team was hurt by two lost fumbles, 12 penalties and several dropped passes. “(But) we can’t beat ourselves.”
In district play, Ellison lost in overtime to Midway and Heights and by one point to Shoemaker.
After Temple junior nose tackle Jayven Taylor stripped the ball from Spiller on Ellison’s first play, Howard rushed for a 2-yard touchdown with a minute gone. Two minutes later, senior tight end Magana got open in the middle to catch Willis’ pass and dive across for a 29-yard score, his first varsity TD.
“I was like, ‘This is my chance right here. I’ve got to get me one,’” Magana said. “I was glad to get in there.”
Temple hosts Waco (0-5 district) next Friday for homecoming.
TEMPLE 64, KILLEEN ELLISON 38
Temple 21 22 7 14 — 64
Ellison 0 8 22 8 — 38
Tem — Samari Howard 2 run (Aaron Wagaman kick)
Tem — Tyson Magana 29 pass from Vance Willis (Wagaman kick)
Tem — Willis 14 run (Wagaman kick)
Tem — Willis 19 run (Wagaman kick)
Tem — Anthony Jackson 1 run (Wagaman kick)
Ell — Traelen Williams 12 pass from Breezion Spiller (Stacy Brown pass from Spiller)
Tem — Howard 2 run (Willis run)
Ell — Damashja Harris 64 run (Spiller run)
Tem — Jackson 2 run (Adrian Guzman kick)
Ell — Spiller 30 run (Spiller run)
Ell — Spiller 3 run (run failed)
Tem — Howard 2 run (Wagaman kick)
Ell — Spiller 6 run (Spiller run)
First downs 27 25
Rushes-yards 47-368 44-366
Passing yards 176 111
Comp.-Att.-Int. 9-18-0 11-21-0
Punts-average 1-16 3-32
Fumbles-lost 1-1 4-2
Penalties-yards 7-75 12-72
RUSHING — Temple: Jackson 16-149, Howard 14-88, Willis 7-77, Luke Allen 3-48, Pugh 5-10, Thomas McVade 2-(minus 4). Ellison, Harris 19-212, Spiller 12-77, Ezekiel Sheridan 10-64, team 0-7, Santos Lacewell 3-6.
PASSING — Temple, Willis 9-14-0-176, Allen 0-4-0-0. Ellison. Spiller 11-21-0-111.
RECEIVING — Temple, Quentin Johnston 4-85, AJ McDuffy 2-44, Magana 1-29, KD Freeman 1-10, Montavian Carlysle 1-8. Ellison, Williams 3-53, Khalid Mendez 4-28, Brown 3-20, Trejon Spiller 1-10.