KELLER — Whatever message Keller Central coach Bart Helsley and his staff are delivering at the half ... it’s working.
For the second consecutive week after giving up 20 points before halftime and trailing by 10, the Chargers pitched a shutout in the second half to knock off Keller Timber Creek 38-20 in a District 4-5A game Thursday at Keller ISD Athletic Complex.
Despite picking off four passes and causing a fumble in the first half, Central found itself trailing 20-10 because the offense struggled to move the ball.
Timber Creek (1-5, 0-3) held Keller Central (3-3, 2-1) to 107 yards in the first half, including stopping the Chargers on fourth-and-1 from the Timber Creek 22-yard line with just over 2 minutes left in the first half.
But the second half was a different story.
Central’s defense continued to play well while causing two more turnovers, and the offense scored all four times it had the ball behind a three-headed rushing attack and timely passing.
The Chargers finished with 344 total yards. Timber Creek gained 191 yards, but only 69 in the second half including 55 on its last drive.
Central picked up 263 yards on the ground as K.T. Smeby rushed for 96 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries. Justin Manuatu added 79 yards on 17 carries and scored twice, both in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Jake McClurg didn’t score, but rushed for 85 yards and was 6-of-11 passing for 81 yards, all in the second half.
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