Central vs. Fossil Ridge game looms large

Posted Monday, Oct. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The two hottest Keller ISD football teams will now face off.

Central, which is coming off a key 38-20 win over Timber Creek last Thursday, may be finally close to playing up to its full potential. The win boosted the Chargers to 2-1 in district play and 3-3 overall.

Fossil Ridge, 3-0 in district (5-1 overall), is fresh from a decisive win over Keller, 44-14.

With each week, each district game gains more importance for its impact on the playoff potential for each team.

“I told our kids that each week is a big week in district play,” Central head coach Bart Helsley said. “With each week that goes by, it gets bigger and bigger.”

Fossil Ridge head coach Tony Baccarini echoes the increasing importance.

“In 5A football, any win is a big win,” he said. “In district, we’re all shooting for a win.”

Central continues to show resilience and resolve, not to mention talent. For the second week, the Chargers had to come back in the second half to earn a win.

Against Timber Creek, they gave up a pick-six, a long TD run and a scoring pass to go into a 23-10 halftime deficit.

The Chargers then came back out, held the Falcons scoreless and put 28 points on the board to seal the win.

“Each week is a building block,” Helsley said. “Each week we gain more confidence. We’re still looking to play a complete four quarters. I’m very proud of our kids for the way they’ve come back in the second half. It’s never dull.”

That may be an understatement when Central meets Fossil Ridge.

“They are one of the most explosive teams in the Metroplex,” Helsley said. “They’re playing very well right now and are talented on both sides of the ball.

Helsley noted the Panthers are very physical on defense and have big play potential in their passing game.

Keller found out first-hand about the explosiveness of the Panthers, as they can score in most any manner.

The Panthers special teams were just that.

“They (special teams) turned the game for us in both halves,” Baccarini said. “We got a punt block (for a score) and a return (to set up a score) and we had one get called back,” Baccarini said of the kick return team. “We also got a field goal before the half and recovered another kickoff. It was a squib-kick, not an intended onside kick,” Baccarini explained.

Fossil Ridge knows what’s in store against a team like Central.

“Central is real sound on both sides of the ball and they don’t make mistakes,” Baccarini said of the Chargers. “They’ve got a good running game. We have to focus on eliminating our mistakes, though.”

•  Keller, still looking for its first district win (3-3, 0-3), will play host to Haltom on Thursday. Haltom is 3-3, 1-2. Hunter McEachern is becoming one of the Indians’ top rushers in addition to posting solid passing numbers. He passed for 157 yards and a score and ran for 49 yards against Ridge. Cameron Johnson caught seven of McEachern’s passes for 66 yards.

• Timber Creek, 1-5, 0-3, takes on Richland on Friday at the Birdville Fine Arts/Athletic Complex. The Falcons gave Central all they wanted early, returning an interception for a score before Amon Lindsey took off on a 28-yard scoring run. Anthony Millsap would cap the first half effort with a nine-yard scoring pass to Cal Gregg. Lindsey finished with 77 yards rushing. The Falcons can compete with almost anyone but they suffered seven turnovers against Central.

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