An arduous non-district schedule paid its dividends last week for Keller when the Indians put their first victory on the board with a 24-7 effort against Keller Fossil Ridge.
Keller is 1-5 on the season, but more importantly the Indians are 1-2 in District 4-5A and in a four-way tie for fourth place.
After dropping games to Prosper (5-1), Mansfield (3-3), and Hurst L.D. Bell (6-0), Keller opened 4-5A against Justin Northwest (5-1) and Keller Central (4-2). The Bell loss was by three points, and Central prevailed 14-13.
"You just have to give the kids so much credit for being so resilient," Keller coach Carl Stralow said. "They have been through a lot. They got a new coach and I didn't meet the staff until July, and during our non-district schedule we learned how to compete and were learning each other and it's starting to pay off."
The Indians with a victory over Haltom this week would move into prime contention to grab one of the playoff berths behind co-leaders Southlake Carroll and Northwest.
"We've approached the entire season one play one game at a time," Stralow said. "The only game we get to play this week is against Haltom and we know there are very good team. We're excited were playing for something and it's our job to give the kids the best shot to win this week as we can and let the chips fall where they may."
Keller had several chances to defeat rival Central two weeks ago, but missed on several chances including an extra point that could have forced overtime.
"I simply ask the kids after each game, 'Did you play as hard as you could?' and if you did, you have to be OK with the result," Stralow said. "If it hurts more than the other ones that you put more into it. You can't be upset about playing as hard as you can. Those are the traits of great teams."
Leading the way has been junior running back Dalton Mills. He has rushed for 610 yards on 110 carries with four scores. Mills has also caught five passes and thrown a TD pass. The offense tries to run the ball and use the clock.
"Dalton has turned into a very good football player who has gotten better week to week," Stralow said. "We're excited about what he's been able to do, but the offensive line is that it revolves around. They have been going a great job and that's what we have to have to be successful."
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