It’s only three games into the season, but the first grade-report period is concluded as the district teams take a week off.
The district schedule will launch Sept. 24-25 for District 5-6A, and each student in the class around Keller ISD have positives and areas for focus.
Timber Creek notched its first win, Keller went to 3-0, Fossil Ridge struggled and Central got back on the winning track last week.
Keller had a playmaker who easily stood out. Running back Tyler Tutt ran for 342 yards and scored six touchdowns en route to garnering the single-game rushing and scoring marks in the 56-41 win over Rowlett.
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Keller head coach Carl Stralow said Tutt’s marks better those of Dalton Mills in Week 10 of the 2012 season vs. Richland.
Caleb Griffin also pushed the performance, as the quarterback was 19-of-27 for 240 yards and a score.
The offensive line obviously had a good outing, while the receiving crew kept the Rowlett defense guessing. The defense, oddly enough, suffered as a result of its own quick-strike offense.
“The tempo on offense means the defense understands they’re going to be out there a lot of plays,” Stralow explained. “We could slow down, but we kept scoring. Points are better than rest.”
Keller (3-0) now prepares for the district-opening showdown with Denton Guyer on Sept. 24 at home.
Thursdays at home for Keller have become a team strong-suit. “To our benefit, we are a tough team to play on Thursday at our stadium,” Stralow said.
“We’re not going to sneak up on them,” Stralow said of Guyer. Keller gave Guyer its toughest district struggle last year in a 40-33 loss in Denton.
For Timber Creek (1-2), the 38-7 win over Irving was a much-needed boost prior to their first district game, when they host Byron Nelson on Sept. 25.
Braxton Washington ran for 145 yards and scored three times. While Timber Creek took a 21-0 first half lead, the defense was halting most any Irving attempt at making headway. The Tigers ended with just 151 total yards.
“We improved a lot and worked hard as a group on defense,” head coach Kevin Golden said. “We put them in bad field position. We backed them up and put the offense on the field in good spots. We’re learning that field position takes both units to work together.”
Golden said they still have many mistakes to eliminate but overall, the performance was much-improved over the first two games.
Prior to the Irving win, the most positive element of note from Golden was that “our uniforms looked good,” he joked.
With a young middle of the offensive line, Washington was gaining yards as the blockers gained experience from each snap.
“We’re still putting it together and they grew up a little, too,” Golden said. “It was good to see them open some holes.”
Quarterback Caleb Collins also gained valuable experience, Golden noted.
Next, Golden said as the receivers gain experience, their knack for running good routes will show that they are playmakers, too.
Fossil Ridge (1-2) likely felt the absence of starting quarterback Bryce Baccarini in its 24-7 loss to Midlothian.
The Panthers vs. Panthers had Midlothian’s team holding Ridge scoreless until the final minute of the game, when Travion Smith got into the end zone from two yards out.
Anthony Smith of Ridge ran for 117 yards.
As Fossil Ridge heads into the open date, they’ll use the time to heal.
“It’s very good for us, mentally and physically,” head coach Tony Baccarini said. “We’ve got some things to do. We’ll break it apart and get it straightened out, but it’s great to heal up.
“We’re still a young team and we’re trying to get better the whole time.”
Ridge is at Northwest on Sept. 25 to open district.
Central boosted its record to 2-1 as it beat Wichita Falls 42-20 on Saturday. The Chargers saw steady improvement and consistency in quarterback Reece Robertson. Robertson threw for 187 yards on 17-of-20 passing.
Zion Purvis scored twice for Central while rushing for 84 yards.
Although the Chargers didn’t score through the air, Central head coach Bart Helsley said there were some positive signs.
“We didn’t have any touchdowns or big plays in the passing game, I thought Reece was efficient,” Helsley said. “I felt like our receivers did a good job blocking, too.”
Central had other scoring opportunities but “little glitches” kept the Chargers from putting more points on the board, Helsley said.
“I’m pleased with the win, but offensively we’re still searching for consistency that we’ll need for district play,” Helsley said. “Our line played better and the young players as a whole are starting to show consistency.
“The importance of a win going into district for momentum is a big deal,” he said.
The need for consistency comes on Sept. 25 when Central plays at the C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton against Denton Ryan.
Ryan returns several players, including a formidable defensive line which Helsley noted may be the best the Chargers will face this season.
“We are close,” Helsley said of being where he wants his squad to be at this point. “We’ve just got to tighten some things up a little bit. Our district each week has good teams to play, and you can’t beat yourself.”