Tigers make semi-finals at tournament
Sunday, 05 August 2012 by David Tuma
Belton's 7-on-7 football team had another strong showing at the state championship tournament held in College Station. For two straight seasons the Tigers haven't had a losing record at any tournament.
This year proved no different with the Tigers posting a 2-1 record the first day but failed to advance to the championship round on a tiebreaker. Belton had a dominating second day in the consolation bracket advancing to the semi-finals before falling to San Antonio O'Conner 27-25. Belton's two-point conversion in final minutes was no good to tie the game.
In the first game, Belton jumped all over Katy running up a 19-7 lead. Derick Bates, Rayshun Jones and Chase Thornal scoring first half touchdowns thrown by Peter Shelburne. Belton didn't put Katy away and was held scoreless in the second half falling 22-19. It was a game that cost the Tigers. Kyle Battle had an interception.
Belton put Abilene away with a sold 35-21 win over the Eagles. Bates went wild scoring three touchdowns in the game. Sophomores-to-be Brandon Rhoads and Shane Stafford both scored their first touchdown passes at the state tournament.
The game was tied 14-14 at half. Belton's defense led by Chase Kern's two interceptions shut down Abilene, holding them to 7 points in the second half. It was a complete turnaround after the Tigers second half performance in the Katy loss.
Belton defeated an outstanding Arlington team 27-26. Bates was simply unstoppable scoring four touchdowns in the game. Battle had three leaping interceptions with Kern and Malik Green each adding a takeaway.
Belton defeated Harlingen 31-27 with Thornal scoring four touchdowns all tossed from Shelburne. Ryan Stinson scored off an interception returned for a touchdown to seal the win. Belton was up 19-7 at half and pulled away.
Belton defeated Friendship 45-25 with Rhoads-3, Thornal-3, Smythe scoring for the Tigers in a dominating win. Garrett Curry and Ben Munoz each had an interception. Belton was down 19-13 at half but scored five second half touchdowns to move into the quarterfinals.
Belton defeated Coppell 33-26 to advance to the semi-finals. Andre Ewing, scored twice with Bates scoring once. Belton's cornerbacks simply dominated the game with Nate Mitchel and Battle each scoring touchdowns off of interception returns.
Belton lost to O'Conner in the finals with Smythe, Bates and Thornal each scoring. Arlington lost in the quarterfinals in the consolation bracket. Abilene, a team the Tigers soundly defeated, advanced to the semi-finals in the winners bracket. Belton's pool went 8-4 in the championship rounds.
Temple, the only other team from the district to qualify for 5A, went 2-3. They had a good draw getting a pool that went 2-4 in the advance rounds. They went 1-2 in pool play and went 1-1 in the consolation bracket and were defeated by O'Conner 33-19.