Tigers drop first district game
Friday, 19 October 2012 by David Tuma
Sometimes you get that feeling it just isn't right. It's that feeling a hunter gets when there is something there, he knows it but can't see it. It's a feeling that he learns to trust.
Belton fumbled the opening drive deep inside the Knights 10-yard line. Against an awesome display of guts by both defenses the Knights got the one score they needed to win 7-0. Belton's offense moved the ball but turnovers and penalties were simply too much to overcome in a heartbreaking loss to start district play.
Belton had their chances but they just couldn't convert. A loss during the regular season can be a good thing early but Belton has to get much better ball control on offense. The Knights defense was the real deal and there aren't much better units around. The Knights had multiple fumbles including two in their own end zone but it wasn't meant to be.
The Tigers got the ball first and after Camron Meyers picked up a third down Peter Shelburne hit Derick Bates on a 50-yard pass but he fumbled at the Knights 2-yard line.
The Knights picked up a couple of first downs. Rodarius Birks had a stop for no gain. Joe Guthrie had a tackle for a 3-yard loss and Kyle Battle playing linebacker stuff a quarterback draw to force a punt.
Kyle Rhoads ran for 22 yards on two carries. A motion penalty and a sack ended the drive. The Tigers defense held and forced a punt.
A holding call and motion penalty put Belton in a first-and-25 and they couldn't overcome the penalties and punted.
Tyler Santellana had a stop and Ryan Stinson and Cody Caswell had a stop for no-gain. Jonathan Quigley had a stop for no gain forcing a punt.
Bates picked up a third-and-12 but a sack at midfield ended the drive.
Heights moved to midfield as time in the half was ending. Stinson had a huge hit on third-and-3 at the Tigers 43-yard line. Stinson stuffed a trick play on fourth down as the half ended 0-0.
Heights ran the kickoff to the Tigers 48-yard line. Tyler Brown, the Knights running back who had missed the first three games, got something going and the Knights ran the ball in small chucks till they scored to take a 7-0 lead with 9:40 left in the third.
The Knights had been keying on Rhoads in the first half and Shelburne kept the ball instead of handing it off and picked up some good yardage on the Tigers first drive. Bates picked up a key first down to move Belton to the Knights 30-yard line. Belton had a third-down catch knocked away and the field goal was short.
Harker Heights got a drive going and moved to the Tigers 35-yard line. Garrett Curry knocked down a rare Knights pass. Nate Mitchell and Ben Munoz had a key stop of a sweep for no gain on a third-and-2. The Tigers entire defensive front stuffed the fourth-and-2 running attempt.
Belton drove to the Knights' 40-yard line near the end of the third quarter and were intercepted at the Knights' 26-yard line.
Rayshun Jones almost got the hand off but the back got away. Guthrie had a stop. Stinson made another tackle setting up a fourth-and-3 at the Tigers 39-yard line. Birks, Brandon Sullivan and Guthrie stopped the Knights for a three-yard loss.
Shane Stafford got around the corner off a huge block by Bates to move Belton to the Knights 34-yard line. Belton tossed another interception at the 2-yard line. The Knights fumbled, but got the ball at the six-inch line. They fumbled again and got it back just outside the one. They punted and Chase Thornal ran it back to the Knights 21-yard line.
An untouched linebacker from the outside sacked the quarterback on a first-and-goal at the nine. The Tigers were facing a second-and-goal at the 17-yard line and couldn't get it in the end zone.
The Knights ran out the clock. The Tigers still have six games left and are still very much in the race for a district championship. The offense moved the ball but simply hurt themselves time and time again. Against a great defense, and Harker Height's defense is as good as they get, you can't do that and win.
Belton doesn't have anything to fix except to execute when it matters. The wheels didn't fall off and Belton is a very good football team. The shock of the loss will wear off and it will give Belton an edge. It's that feeling a good team gets when they get mean. For an offense that has carrie d the team for six seasons it was a low point, but not a playoff loss.
Too much is made of a loss. For the Tigers look for them to rebound in the next three weeks and put this game behind them as just a bad memory.