KELLER — Keller Central coach Bart Helsley told kicker Hunter Morrow he’d keep coming back to him Friday night.
Despite missing an earlier try, Morrow finally got that call with 1:44 remaining, booting a 47-yard field goal to give Central an improbable 23-20 come-from-behind win over District 4-5A rival Keller at the Keller Athletic Complex.
The Chargers’ defense forced a fumble in the waning moments to clinch it.
“He’s kicked a couple of game winners for us last year and has struggled some also,” Helsley said. “But I told him we were in this for the long haul and I knew he had the leg to get it done.”
Central (2-3, 1-1) saw Keller build a 20-10 lead at halftime, thanks in part to Cameron Johnson’s seven receptions for 180 yards and a touchdown.
Central’s defense, though, held the Indians’ offense in check in the second half as Johnson had only one more reception.
After 262 first-half yards, Keller (2-3, 0-2) wound up with only 33 yards total in the second half.
“I couldn’t be more proud of how the defense responded after the half,” Helsley said. “We challenged them to step up and make the adjustments and they did.”
Central hung tough throughout, but didn’t capitalize on offense until the second half.
Running back K.T. Smeby, who had 20 carries for 112 yards, scored late in the third quarter on a 50-yard run up the right sideline to cut into Keller’s lead, 20-17.
Morrow kicked his second 40-yarder to even things up with 7:02 to go.
The Chargers took a 3-0 lead on Morrow’s initial 40-yard field goal to open scoring in the first quarter.
Keller started a scoring streak on its second first-half possession when quarterback Hunter McEachern worked the Indians 75 yards for a drive that carried over into the second quarter.
Running back Dalton Mills capped it with a 2-yard run over left tackle for a 6-3 lead.
After Morrow missed a 40-yard field-goal try, Keller opened up the offense again and scored on McEachern’s 10-yard run.
He later found Johnson for a 20-yard pass and catch and a 20-10 lead over Central.
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