PURCHASE VARSITY FOOTBALL TICKETS ONLINE FOR ALL GAMES AT KELLER ISD STADIUM! Click here.
Keller hosts Midland this Friday, September 16. Game time 7:30 - get there early as Homecoming King and Queen will be crowned prior to the game.
Stop by American National Bank and view memorabilia from Keller High. Letter jackets, cheer uniforms, yearbooks and more!
Keller Fossil Ridge
Keller Timber Creek
JOIN US THIS SUMMER!
ATTN: PARENTS AND FANS
Due to the weather forecast for Thursday, November 5, 2015, and the condition of KMS's field, FRSHMEN and JV GAMES will be played at Northwest ISD. VARSITY will play at NWISD Stadium on Friday, November 6, 2015, at 7pm as scheduled. There are three different turf fields at their complex. The locations and times for each team is listed below:
9th WHITE 5:30pm/NAVY 7pm will play on the campus of Northwest High School. The field is located behind the school and indoor facility. Access from 156 into the main parking lot.
JV GOLD 5:30pm/BLUE 7pm will play at NWISD's Track Stradium (old Texan Stadium). The field is directly west (same parking lot) as NWISD Stadium. It can be accessed from 114 or 156 via Texan Drive.
VARSITY will be played Friday, November 6, 2015, at 7pm at NWISD Stadium as scheduled. There are NASCAR races at Texas Motor Speedway. Listed below are alrernative routes. AVOID I-35W AND HWY 114.
Recommended Routes to NWISD Stadium:
OPTION 1. Take Hwy 377 to Hwy 170 enter I-35 North to Eagle Pkwy. Take Eagle Pkwy to Hwy 156. Take a right and Northwest High School will be on the left. Enter the school from Hwy 156 and follow the road around to the stadium parking lots. Please return to Keller from the same route.
OPTION 2. Take Golden Triangle to I-35 Westport Pkwy. Take a left and travel to Hwy 156. Turn right and travel 4 miles and Northwest High School will be on the left. Enter the school from Hwy 156. Please return to Keller from the same route.
OPTION 3. Take Hwy 287 toward Decatur to exit 114 East. This will bring you to the stadium from the west and you will take a left into the stadium parking lots. This route will be longer mileage but should keep you out of NASCAR traffic.
NOT RECOMMENDED: Taking Hwy 377 to Hwy 114 West toward Texas Motor Speedway may have up to 2 hour travel delays due to the NASCAR race. Hwy 114 exit from I-35 will not be suitable for HS football game traffic and is discouraged for a route to Northwest Stadium.
Fossil Ridge vs. Keller has been moved to 1:00pm SATURDAY 10/31/15 @ KISD Stadium.
RYAN VS KELLER, originally scheduled on 10/22/15, will be played on 10/24/15 at 1 p.m. at Keller ISD Stadium.
Fri 10/16,7:00pm,Keller ISD Athletic Complex, Keller
By Eric Liles
Special to the Star-Telegram
Why Keller won: Down 38-30 with three minutes left, the Indians moved 80 yards in nine plays with Tyler Tutt scoring on a 4-yard run with 36 seconds to play. Tutt’s 2-point conversion pass to Houston Miller forced overtime where Luke Hogan won it with a 40-yard field goal.
Key players: Tutt ran for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Timber Creek’s Braxton Washington led all rushers with 186 yards.
7 hsfb Keller-TimberCreek -2
Key stat: Keller’s Landry Hutchins returned a kickoff 75 yards for a TD and Liam Ardigo went 103 yards for another score.
Records: Keller 5-2, 2-2 5-6A; Timber Creek 1-5, 1-3
By Shawn Smajstrla
KELLER — It was the Tyler Tutt show Thursday night at the Keller ISD Athletic Complex, as the senior running back scored six touchdowns to lead Keller past Rowlett 56-41 in a nondistrict game.
Tutt, a Texas State commitment, accumulated 342 yards on 26 carries. Six of those rushes went for 26 yards or more, including touchdown runs of 46, 69, 54 and 34 yards. Quarterback Caleb Griffin pitched in, completing 19 of 27 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown.
Keller (3-0) trailed 27-21 late in the second quarter, but erupted for 28 unanswered points to pull away.
Rowlett (2-1) opened the scoring with a 35-yard field goal from Chris Luplow on the Eagles’ first possession. Keller answered with a 46-yard Tutt run to give the Indians their first lead at 7-3.
They extended that lead to 14-3 when Griffin hit Dillon Smith on a wide receiver screen for a 67-yard score.
First, Rowlett QB Logan Bonner connected with Cameron Vitosh from 18 yards out to make it 14-10.
Keller fumbled the ensuing kickoff, which the Eagles converted into a 38-yard Alvin Kenworthy field goal to pull within 14-13. Tutt then found the end zone again, this time from 4 yards away to make it 21-13 Indians.
Rowlett responded with a 9-yard run from LaDarius Dickens to push the score to 21-20. The Eagles then regained the lead on a Bonner 8-yard scamper.
Keller trailed 27-21 for all of one play as Tutt scored his third of the first half on a 69-yard burst up the middle.
Tutt cashed in on Keller’s first two possessions of the second half on runs of 54 and 34 yards. He made it three in a row on an 8-yard rush early in the fourth quarter that gave the Indians a 49-27 lead.
Dillon Smith led Keller with 96 yards receiving on five catches. Camron Jones added seven grabs for 75 yards.
By Christopher Hadorn - Midland Reporter - Telegram
Against a much more experienced Keller team, Midland High looked outmatched in the early going of Thursday night’s season opener, but the Bulldogs made things interesting in the end during a 35-28 loss to the visiting Indians at Grande Communications Stadium.
Circumstances looked bleak for the Bulldogs (0-1) with only 39 seconds left to play in the third quarter when Keller took a 35-13 lead after Caleb Griffin connected with Brady Marek for a 13-yard touchdown pass.
However, MHS quarterback Brady Bolger engineered two scoring drives to pull MHS within seven points with 3:04 left to play.
Bolger scored on a 4-yard run and threw to Courtney McMaryion for a 9-yard touchdown pass in fourth quarter, giving the Bulldogs some late hope and life.
However, Bolger’s scoring play was costly as Midland High left tackle Paxton Heiting injured his ankle and was carried off the field on a cart. Heiting, who started 11 games for the Bulldogs as a sophomore in 2014, is the Bulldogs’ most experienced offensive lineman.
“The only thing I am disappointed in is Paxton’s injury,” MHS head coach Craig Yenzer said. “I am disappointed for him, so that’s a sad thing for us. But that’s a part of the game and we are going to move forward. Our goal is to get that guy healthy when we get into the playoffs.”
Following McMaryion’s score, Ricky Hubert rushed for a 2-point conversion to cut the deficit to seven.
On the Indians’ next possession, a fired up Bulldog defense forced a three-and-out, highlighted by Jack Youngblood’s tackle for a loss on a second-and-6 situation.
MHS got the ball back at the 2-yard line, though, and had a little over a minute to drive the length of the field.
Bolger led a valiant comeback to midfield, but time expired when the Bulldogs spiked the ball on their own 47-yard line and no timeouts.
“Overall, I loved our fight in the end,” Yenzer said. “I loved our will to win. I was disappointed in a lot of the mistakes we made early. We let them put pressure on us, we didn’t put pressure on them.”
Keller’s offensive attack was spearheaded by running back Tyler Tutt, who rushed 19 times for 185 yards and two touchdowns. On the second play of the second half, Tutt broke loose on a 74-yard run to push the Indians (1-0) to a 28-10 advantage.
Hubert enjoyed an admirable performance in a losing effort, rushing for 69 yards and accounting for 101 yards as a receiver out of the backfield.
Notes: MHS junior defensive end Dillon Springer, the 2014 District 3-6A newcomer of the year, did not play. … Running back Raekwon Anderson, free safety Aderrial Henry, quarterback Brady Bolger, defensive end Traver Vliem and inside linebacker Jack Youngblood were team captains for Midland High.
KELLER 35, MIDLAND HIGH 28
Keller 7 14 14 0 --35
Midland High 3 7 3 15 --28
MHS -- FG Blake Boring 25, 3:18
KHS -- Caleb Griffin 15 run (Luke Hogan kick), 0:02
KHS -- Tyler Tutt 9 run (Luke Hogan kick), 8:14
KHS -- Dillon Smith 6 pass from Caleb Griffin (Luke Hogan kick), 7:19
MHS -- Caleb Gonzales 1 run (Blake Boring kick), 2:52
KHS -- Tyler Tutt 74 run (Luke Hogan kick), 11:00
MHS -- FG Blake Boring 26, 7:31
KHS -- Brady Marek 13 pass from Caleb Griffin (Luke Hogan kick), 0:39
MHS -- Brady Bolger 4 run (Blake Boring kick), 5:12
MHS -- Courtney McMaryion 9 pass from Brady Bolger (Ricky Hubert run), 3:04
Keller Midland High
First downs 15 16
Rushes-yards 33-287 35-124
Passing yards 126 251
Comp.-Att.-Int. 14-21-0 18-34-1
Punts-Avg. 6-49.5 5-36.4
Fumbles-lost 1-0 3-0
Penalties-yards 8-64 5-36
RUSHING -- Keller, Tyler Tutt 19-185, Liam Ardigo 4-52, Caleb Griffin 10-50. Midland High, Ricky Hubert 13-69, Brady Bolger 16-47, Nick Hernandez 1-6, Caleb Gonzales 2-4, Raekwon Anderson 1-4, Jackson Asnuszkiewicz 2-(-6).
PASSING -- Keller, Caleb Griffin 14-21-0-126. MHS, Brady Bolger 15-24-1-176, Jackson Anuszkiewicz 3-9-0-75, TEAM 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING -- Keller, Dillon Smith 6-68, Camron Jones 3-(-9), Cameron Johnson 2-45, Brady Marek 2-23, Tyler Tutt 2-(-1). Midland High, Courtney McMaryion 6-46, Ricky Hubert 5-101, Jalen Childress 3-43, Sam Bertelson 1-43, Will Statton 1-13, Tim Bernal 1-1, Joey Rodriguez 1-(-1).
MISSED FIELD GOALS -- Keller, Hogan 53 (WL).
INTERCEPTIONS -- Keller, Landon Rowlett 1-26.
Keller coach Carl Stralow didn’t care how it happened, just that it did. He wanted the annual ceremony after the final regular season game to be just that: a ceremony, not the end.
“I said I wanted seniors to have the Senior Walk after our last game, then come in the next morning and lift, watch film and prepare for the playoffs,” Stralow said. “That was one of our goals, to just play again.”
Keller lost on Thursday but still clinched a UIL playoff berth for the first time since 2009. The Indians joined a handful of area teams ending lengthy postseason droughts. Other teams made the playoffs for the first time.
Fort Worth South Hills, Arlington Sam Houston and Fort Worth Trimble Tech also ended droughts. South Hills hadn’t been in eight years, Sam Houston in 11 and Trimble Tech in 25.
“I got calls from administrators and teachers, and emails, and a lot of kids are coming around the office congratulating guys and the coaching staff,” Trimble Tech coach Dwayne Henry said. “It’s the most energy I’ve seen in a long time for football.”
Mansfield Lake Ridge and Burleson Centennial both started varsity programs three years ago and had never made the playoffs.
Centennial went 3-7 that first year and 2-8 in 2013. Lake Ridge went winless in 2012, which wasn’t a surprise to coach Kirk Thor. He knew it would be rough. But that season also developed the Eagles into a competitive unit last year, as they lost four games by a touchdown or less.
Thor was not surprised that his team took the next step this season.
“I think  was a great learning experience for everybody,” Thor said. “We’re in a microwave society, but sometimes it takes an oven.”
This year, returning starters Jett Duffey (quarterback) and Duke Carter (running back) have sparked an explosive offense. Duffey has thrown for 1,274 yards and 16 touchdowns, while also rushing for 723 yards, and Carter leads the team with 18 rushing touchdowns and 1,466 yards.
While Lake Ridge’s progression seemed natural, Centennial coach Kyle Geller altered his program’s path with a rigorous off-season. After two seasons, he felt that his team hit a ceiling and he knew the reason why.
“Leadership, leadership, leadership,” he said. “We made [the off-season] like boot camp, to be honest with you. We had to do that. We just absolutely had to do it.”
At Keller, Stralow inherited a team that had won five games in two seasons. The Indians struggled again in 2012, going 3-7, before winning five games last year.
After a 1-3 start this season, including a 40-33 loss to Denton Guyer, Keller was left wondering how to convert improvement into wins. Things began clicking in October, when the Indians won four straight.
Sam Houston, meanwhile, ended not only a decade of missed postseasons but also a run of futility against Arlington schools. Until last month’s win over Arlington, the Texans hadn’t beaten another Arlington school in district play since 2004.
Their progress coincided with Anthony Criss’ fourth year as head coach.
Criss, a former Arlington Bowie coach and school district administrator, knew a turnaround at Sam Houston would take time. He made connections at junior high schools and convinced several kids, including senior quarterback Ervin Hill, to come out for the team once they reached ninth grade.
“I promised them that in four years, your senior year, we would be good,” Criss said. “But I told them, ‘You guys have to come and buy in.’ We talked about the progression. The third year we should be competitive, and we were. Everything I talked about they were able to see.”
School: Last appearance
Trimble Tech: 1989
Sam Houston: 2003
South Hills: 2006
Burleson : Never
Mansfield Lake Ridge: Never
Euless Trinity: 17
Southlake Carroll: 15
Nolan Catholic: 15
Saginaw Boswell: 6
Ryan Osborne, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @RyanOsborneFWST
KELLER — Justin Northwest held off Keller in the second half for a 35-33 win Thursday night at Keller ISD Athletic Complex, but the victory wasn’t enough to secure a playoff berth for the Texans.
It did just the opposite for Keller (5-5, 4-3 District 5-6A), which was able to clinch a playoff spot thanks to the district’s tiebreaker rules. For losing by less than 6 points, Keller advances because it holds point-differential tiebreakers over Keller Central and Northwest (6-4, 4-3).
Keller and Northwest are now tied for third behind Keller Fossil Ridge and Denton Guyer. Northwest needs Keller Timber Creek (3-6, 0-6) to beat Keller Central (5-4, 3-3) tonight to avoid elimination. A Central win gives the Chargers the playoff spot over Northwest.
Keller will play Plano West at 6 p.m. Thursday at AT&T Stadium in the Class 6A Division I bi-district round.
“Sometimes you’re the windshield, and sometimes you’re the bug,” Keller coach Carl Stralow said. “We were both tonight.”
Northwest came close on Thursday to controlling their own destiny.
The Texans faced fourth-and-13 from their own 12, with around a minute left, when Jesse Drummer hit Emmanuel Moore for a first-down completion. Moore then took off around the left side of the Keller defense, down to Indians’ 7.
A field goal would’ve clinched spots for both teams, while a touchdown would have eliminated Keller.
But holding was called on Northwest at its own 41, and the Texans didn’t score.
Keller had lost two games by a combined four points and then nearly knocked off state-ranked Denton Guyer on Sept. 26. But the Indians, who went 3-7 last year, were tired of the moral victories.
“I told our kids after [the Guyer loss] that everybody that told you that you played well didn’t think you were going to win anyways,” Keller coach Carl Stralow said. “We needed to start doing the things we needed to do for 48 minutes to win a football game.”
Stralow’s team responded.
Keller (4-3, 3-1 District 5-6A) has won its past three games, including a 44-39 victory over rival Keller Central the week after the loss to Guyer. The Indians had not beaten Central since 2009 but held off a late rally to avoid starting district 0-2.
Keller enters Friday’s game against Denton Ryan tied with the Raiders for second place in 5-6A.
The Indians beat Keller Timber Creek 21-6 last week and Trophy Club Nelson 28-17 on Oct. 10.
“What we’re trying to achieve is play clean football, don’t turn the football, don’t get senseless penalties, try to create turnovers on defense,” Stralow said.
A win over Ryan would entrench Keller in second place behind Guyer. Even a loss wouldn’t damage the Indians’ playoff hopes too much.
Stralow has a simple way of breaking it down.
“It’s pretty easy math,” he said. “You win and you get in.”
For the first time since coach Carl Stralow arrived at Keller three years ago, the Indians have started district play 2-1 after a 28-17 victory over Trophy Club Byron Nelson at Northwest ISD Stadium on Friday night.
“We took advantage of some turnovers in the first half and the offense fed off that,” Stralow said. “We weren’t perfect, but we played 48 real hard minutes and I’m proud of them.”
Byron Nelson (2-4, 1-2 District 6-5A) took an early lead after marching 69 yards on its opening possession. Courtney Miles capped the drive with a 1-yard run. Miles finished the night with 216 yards on 33 carries and added another 7-yard touchdown run late in the game.
The offense for Keller (3-3, 2-1) responded, though, and used 12 plays to cover 78 yards, culminating with Caleb Griffin’s 4-yard TD pass to Dillon Smith to even the score.
Griffin was efficient, completing 12 of 15 passes for 195 yards and two scores. He also added a short touchdown run.
“He made some throws tonight that were key throws at important parts of the game that changed the complexion of the game,” Stralow said. “The play of Caleb and our receivers was paramount in our victory.”
Three of those passes went for more than 35 yards, including a 43-yarder to Cameron Johnson that set up the Indians go-ahead touchdown in the first quarter.
Griffin connected with Myles Merrity from 23 yards late in the second quarter to give Keller a 21-7 halftime lead.
Monday 10/13 No School 6:00-8:00am Varsity and JV (Full Pads)
4:00-5:00pm Varsity Lift and Film
4:00-5:00pm Freshmen (VOLUNTARY) Film and Lift
Tuesday 10/14 6:45-8:45am Varsity and JV
4:00-5:00pm Varsity Film and JV Lift
Wednesday 10/15 PSAT 6:00-8:00am Varsity and JV
4:00-5:00pm Varsity Lift and Film (and) JV Team
Thursday 10/16 7:00-8:00am Varsity
8:15-9:15am Varsity@ Elementary Schools (reading progra)
8:30am JV Jersey pickup
4:00pm Varsity Meeting in Locker room
5:00pm Varsity Team Meal @ Milestone Church
5:30pm JV Gold @ Timber Creek HS, 9th White @KMS
7:00pm JV Blue @ Timber Creek HS, 9th Navy @ KMS
Friday 10/17 7:45am Varsity Report to field house
8:20am Varsity and JV attend Pep Rally
9:00am JV Lift and Varsity Meetings
3:15-4:15pm Freshmen Film and Lift
7:00pm Varsity vs. Timber Creek
Saturday 10/18 9:00-11:00am Varsity Run, Film & Lift
KELLER — Keller got off to a fast start in the first half and held on late to defeat Keller Central 44-39 in a District 5-6A game Thursday at Keller ISD Stadium.
Keller running back Tyler Tutt rushed for 105 yards on 26 carries and scored three touchdowns for the Indians (2-3, 1-1 5-6A).
Keller’s Dillon Smith returned a kickoff 107 yards to give the Indians a two-touchdown advantage early in the third quarter.
The Chargers (3-2, 1-1) made a late charge with two touchdowns by receiver Caleb Cilumba in the fourth quarter. The senior worked free on a 14-yard scoring play midway through the fourth quarter, then moved into position on a fade pattern late in the game for a score to draw Central within five points.
But the effort went for naught as Keller ran out the clock with Tutt and quarterback Caleb Griffin taking control. Griffin ran for 64 yards and completed nine passes for 125 yards and one touchdown.
Keller jumped out to a 30-15 halftime lead, with Tutt scoring all his touchdowns in the first half.
A 1-yard run by Griffin made it 14-6 after the Indians recovered a muffed punt in the first quarter. After a quick three-and-out for Central, Tutt scored his second touchdown on a 1-yard run to make it 20-6.
Keller’s defense was strong in the first half, with defensive lineman Houston Miller and linebacker Garrett Blubaugh combined for four tackles for losses in holding the Chargers to only 122 yards.
Central tried to play catch-up in the second half, and cut the lead to 30-23 on Nick Rischer’s 10-yard TD run. but Smith’s 107-yard return on the ensuing kickoff made it a two-score game again.
ADAM BOEDEKER The Denton Record-Chronicle firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: 26 September 2014 11:33 PM
Updated: 27 September 2014 01:27 PM
DENTON — It was no coincidence on Friday night when Denton Guyer senior running back Anthony Taylor took three straight handoffs in the closing minutes of Guyer’s District 5-6A opener against Keller before the Wildcats were able to line up in a victory formation and kneel the ball to secure a victory.
That’s because Taylor was one of the few players Guyer coach John Walsh had trust in to close the game out in what ended up being a wildly sloppy second half for the two-time defending state champions in a 40-33 win against Keller.
“He’d kind of been banged up all game,” Walsh said of Taylor, who finished the night with 137 yards on 13 carries and three scores. “I think he had a little bruise early. He’s our horse. I trust him. He’s been in big ballgames. Knock on wood, he hasn’t put the ball on the ground yet this year.”
He was the antithesis of the Wildcats’ offense in the second half on Friday night in a game that was truly a tale of two different halves.
The ninth-ranked Wildcats (3-1, 1-0) took a 30-12 lead into the halftime break and drove down the field with ease to start the second half and extend the lead to 25 points. In fact, when Bryson Casmir hit a 29-yard field goal for Guyer, it gave the Wildcats a 40-19 lead with just nine minutes to play.
That’s when the Wildcats’ wheels began flying off in a hurry.
Keller quarterback Caleb Griffin picked apart the Guyer secondary with quick-hitting, short passes and some sloppy play on offense for the Wildcats kept the Indians in the game late as they pulled to within a touchdown with 2:29 remaining before narrowly missing a recovery on the ensuing onside kick attempt.
“I just think we showed immaturity,” Walsh said. “I’m disappointed. If it’s 30-12 [at halftime], a championship program is going to take care of business in the second half, and they didn’t. We are extremely immature as a football program right now, it looks like.”
The biggest flub for the Wildcats came after Keller (1-3, 0-1) had scored to cut Guyer’s lead to 14 points with 6:38 left in the game. Guyer took possession and started driving down the field with relative ease before they were stopped at the Keller 24-yard line on a snap that went past sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson and resulted in a 43-yard loss with a 15-yard personal foul tacked on to give the Indians the ball at the Guyer 18-yard line. Two plays later, Keller scored to pull within a touchdown.
Keller was aided in the first half by two key Guyer turnovers that the Indians turned into 10 points.
The Indians’ first scoring drive was started after Robinson fumbled to give Keller the ball at the Guyer 41-yard line. The Indians got on the board with a 48-yard field goal from Luke Hogan.
Robinson quickly answered that field goal with a 34-yard scoring strike to Alex Honey, but had another miscue midway through the second quarter.
Driving at the Keller 38-yard line, Robinson’s pass was intercepted by Keller linebacker Garrett Blubaugh and returned 54 yards to the Guyer 18-yard line, where Robinson made a touchdown-saving tackle. But that was only temporary, as Keller quarterback Caleb Griffin found Cameron Johnson for an 18-yard touchdown on the first snap of the drive to pull Keller within 22-9.
“The interception, I’m OK with,” Walsh said. “The play I called wasn’t all that great. The fumbles and the snapping just have to get cleaned up. It’s sloppy — extremely sloppy.”
Robinson finished his night with just 47 yards on the ground to go with 135 passing yards on 11-of-19 passing. He threw for two touchdowns to Alex Honey, who left the game with an injury in the third quarter, and the lone interception.
Walsh said Robinson’s worst statistical night of the season was something he expects to see turned around soon.
“Really, out of the four games we’ve played, I thought he was just OK tonight,” Walsh said. “Not necessarily executing the play, but leading the team and finishing four quarters.
“It’s good to be 1-0 [in district]. We played a really good first half. We played a really crappy second half.”
Guyer’s defense took away the district’s leading rusher by volume in Keller running back Tyler Tutt, who rushed for just 3 yards on seven carries while the Indians totaled just 81 yards on the ground. But Griffin passed for 225 yards and three touchdowns by finding holes in Guyer’s defense.
With pass-heavy Justin Northwest (2-2, 0-1) and quarterback Jesse Drummer awaiting next week, Walsh said there is plenty of reason for concern based on what he saw in Friday’s sloppy victory.
“Sure it’s a concern,” Walsh said. “Northwest throws it real efficiently and throws it a lot. There’s a lot of concern.”
The Indians went on the road and shutout Rowlett 28-0. Rowlett came into the game undefeated while Keller had lost there last 2 games in the final minutes. It was a dominate performance by the defense allowing only 2 first downs in the first half and forcing multiple turnovers. Fewer mistakes this week and controling the ball with a great ground game enabled the Indians to get their first win of the seaon. The Indians have a bye week and then prepare for the district opener against Denton Guyer.
SPECIAL TO THE STAR-TELEGRAM
Keller wide receiver Cameron Johnson (2) hits the ground
under pressure from Lee defenders in the Thursday opener.
Keller was set to kick off the 2014 football season in the heat of the Midland afternoon on Thursday. Instead, the Indians were forced off the field due to lightning and didn’t get underway until about 7 p.m.
The Indians then experienced almost every nuance of football. And unfortunately, they experienced a tough 28-26 loss to Midland Lee at Grande Communications Stadium.
They returned a kickoff and a fumble for scores, intercepted passes, completed a pass after a high punt snap to convert a first down and played the first half without a game clock.
“Everything that can happen in a high school football game, happened,” said Keller head coach Carl Stralow. “We just couldn’t overcome the mistakes. Lee is a very good football team and we had them a couple of times. It was a heck of a high school football game.”
When Keller’s Caleb Griffin connected with Cameron Johnson for a 36-yard scoring pass with just under three minutes remaining in the game and trailing by one, Griffin’s two-point pass attempt was intercepted.
Earlier in the game, Garrett Blubaugh snagged an errant Lee option pitch and ran into the end zone from 11 yards out. That score knotted the score at 7-7.
Johnson had also returned the second half kickoff back 87 yards to put Keller up 14-7.
Tyler Tutt scored the other Keller touchdown, but a missed extra point had Keller trailing 21-20.
After Lee scored late in the fourth quarter, new starting quarterback Griffin led Keller down the field, culminating in the scoring pass to Johnson.
Stralow said Blubaugh had an outstanding game. In addition to his interception and fumble return, he had double-digit tackles.
Tyler Tutt did a good job in his first varsity start in the Keller backfield, Stralow said. “He had some good runs and catches,” he said.
“I’m extremely proud of how we played,” Stralow said. “It’s tough to drive 325 miles from home but we’re coming home a better football team. I just wish we would have won.”
When Keller got out on the field to warm up at 3:15 p.m. for the 4:30 p.m. kickoff, it was over 100 degrees on the field. Lightning forced the two teams into the locker rooms for a several-hour delay. The game concluded about 10 pm.
Keller committed three turnovers in the first half, promting Stralow to say there are still plenty of areas to work on. “And we’ll start to work tomorrow,” he said.
Keller will host Flower Mound on Friday at Keller ISD Stadium at 7:30 pm.