Haltom jumped out to a 28-0 lead before holding off a late rally as the Buffalos (7-0, 3-0 District 3-6A) remain unbeaten with a 28-14 win over Abilene (2-2, 5-3) at the Birdville Fine Arts / Athletics Complex.
Julian Johnson put Haltom on the board with a 10-yard touchdown run on the game’s opening series. Michael Black broke free for a 51-yard touchdown run to give the Buffalos a 14-0 lead after one quarter.
Haltom’s Decorian Mitchell out-jumped an Abilene defensive back to pull in a Black pass and found a wide open field behind him for a 51 yard touchdown reception. The score gave Haltom a 21-0 lead with 4:27 to play before halftime.
Play of the game: With 8:37 to play in the third quarter, Black watched a mishandled shotgun snap land five yards behind him before picking up the ball. Black avoided a sack and threw a short pass to Julian Johnson in the flat. Johnson dodged a pair of defenders, cut back inside, then found room up the middle of the field for an 84 yard touchdown reception.
Game was over when: Abilene cut its deficit to 28-14 on Matthew Ezzell’s 9-yard touchdown run with 2:18 to play in the third quarter and Ezzell’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Esai Jaques to start the fourth. Haltom took possession with 6:43 left in the game on its own 26-yard line and burned 3:13 off the clock before losing a fumble at the Abilene 1.
Offensive player of the game: Black completed 13 of 24 passes for 267 yards with two touchdowns and finished with 64 rushing yards.
Defensive player of the game: Haltom’s Johnny Smith-Rider grabbed two interceptions for the Buffalos.
Big picture outlook: One week after defeating state-ranked Euless Trinity, Haltom followed up with a solid win over another playoff contender to establish itself as the front-runner in District 3-6A.
What’s next? Abilene plays host to Weatherford on October 26th with a 7:30 P.M. kickoff. Haltom will take on rival Richland at the Birdville Fine Athletics / Athletic Complex on October 26th at 7:30.