Keller did not follow the normal script for winning games, throwing four interceptions and losing a fumble.
The Indians overcame their turnovers, though, rallying in the second half to edge past Keller Fossil Ridge, 22-14, for a playing-clinching win at Keller ISD Stadium.
Fossil Ridge (5-4, 3-3) opened the scoring early in the first quarter with Scottie Colis’ 26-yard touchdown pass to Colione Evans. Keller (7-2, 4-2 District 5-6A) answered with Sloan Henry’s 49-yard touchdown pass to Damon Smith. Evans put the Panthers back in front on a 2-yard touchdown with 2:37 to play in the first quarter.
The Panthers shut down Keller’s offense during the second quarter by grabbing three interceptions. Fossil Ridge took a 14-7 lead into halftime.
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“The guys went into halftime with a bunch of mopey faces,” Keller head coach Carl Stralow said. “I told them we could be easily be down 35-7. All we had to do was fix a couple of things and we’d be OK.”
With 2:48 to play in the third quarter, Matt Dewitt flipped momentum in Keller’s favor when he grabbed an interception and ran it back 53 yards for a touchdown. Sloan Henry followed with a two-point conversion pass to Smith to give their Indians their first lead of the game.
Play of the game: Fossil Ridge faced fourth down and seven at the Keller 37 yard line with 4:04 left to play. Keller took over on downs after an incomplete pass. On the next play, Enoch Ntchobo broke loose for a 63-yard touchdown to push the Indians’ lead to 22-14.
Game was over when: Fossil Ridge moved to the Keller 11-yard line with 1:56 remaining. An incomplete pass on fourth down gave Keller possession and the Indians ran out the clock to wrap up the win.
Offensive player of the game: Ntchobo finished with 153 yards rushing on 23 carries.
Defensive player of the game: Dewitt’s interception turned the game around for Keller. Fossil Ridge linebacker Marco Olivas had an interception and a fumble recovery to lead the Panthers.
Big picture outlook: Keller has clinched a playoff spot. Fossil Ridge can lock up the final playoff berth with a win next week.
What’s next? Fossil Ridge hosts Denton Guyer at the Keller ISD Athletic Complex on Thursday, November 8th with kickoff at 7 P.M. Keller will be the visiting team for a matchup with Keller Central at the Keller ISD Athletic Complex on Friday, November 9th. Kickoff is at 7 P.M.