I'm a coach's wife, telling a story the best I know how. It's important and I want to get it right! Jump on the train quick for the Temple Wildcats are gathering steam! Their destination is unknown but their desire is for greatness. Prayerfully join us as God unfolds a new chapter. They've all been good but I won't be surprised if He's saved the best for last!
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Tonight, after a Temple High victory over Killeen Harker Heights, 40-30. Which means the BLUE LIGHT IS ON! The Wildcats are mighty happy!
Wildcats rise up: Temple flips Heights to stay in contention for playoff berth
KILLEEN — An early defensive stand. A 24-yard run by Gaylon Sanders, followed by his 21-yard run, followed by his 4-yard touchdown run.
A whole lot happened after that opening sequence in Temple’s District 12-5A football game against Harker Heights on Thursday night, but the early action set the tone for the Wildcats and they went on to seize a potentially season-saving 40-30 win over the Knights at windswept Leo Buckley Stadium.
―Awesome. That was an awesome win,‖ Mike Spradlin said after the Wildcats earned their first district win and road victory with him as their coach. ―I can’t tell you how big this is for us. We get to enjoy it for an extra day, and it’ll be sweet.‖ After losing back-and-forth battles to district big dogs College Station A&M Consolidated and Copperas Cove to start the 12-5A schedule, Temple (2-4 overall, 1-2 district) was in desperate need of a win to keep itself in prime contention for one of the league’s four playoff berths. Mission accomplished.
―We definitely needed this one,‖ senior center Roman Mikeska said. ―This gets us started because we want a 5-0 finish in district.‖ Said Spradlin: ―Coming in, we felt like if we want to drive our own bus, we have to win out. We still contend that we control ourselves, and now we’ll get ready to play Belton.‖ Emerging junior star Sanders helped the Wildcats grab that vital victory by running 24 times for 159 yards and three touchdowns, pushing him to 737 yards and 12 TDs in Temple’s last four games.
Junior quarterback Zach Allen had a quiet passing night with 41 yards and zero second-half completions, but he carried 12 times for 113 yards, highlighted by second-half touchdowns of 29 and 12 yards.
―I thought the wind was such a factor tonight both with kicking and passing,‖ Spradlin said. ―We ran the ball with success and I think that shortened the game.‖ Sanders scoring runs of 4 and 6 yards helped Temple carry a 17-10 lead into halftime. The Wildcats didn’t do much with their possession to start the third quarter, but Joseph Pickett’s ensuing 54-yard punt that pinned Harker Heights (3-3, 1-2) at its 5-yard line began a crucial chain of events.
A seemingly accurate shotgun snap sailed past Knights quarterback C.J. Rodriguez and the ball scooted through the end zone for a safety and a 19-10 game.
―The whole team is upset, but mistakes are going to happen,‖ Rodriguez said. ―Nobody’s perfect.‖ Keith Buhl then ripped off a 19-yard return of a free kick to reach the Heights 36, and after Sanders ran for 7 yards Allen followed his blocks up the middle and broke outside for a 29-yard scoring sprint that gave Temple a commanding 26-10 lead 4 minutes after halftime.
―It was a killer,‖ Heights third-year coach Mike Mullins said of the safety followed by the quick TD. ―We had a bad spot there. Once again mistakes caught up with us.‖ Said Spradlin: ―If I was looking for when the momentum changed, that was it. We got it out to a nine-point lead and then it was 26-10. That was a big turnaround.‖ Heights responded, with a 60-yard rumble by sophomore Marcus Anderson II setting up Rodriguez’s 1-yard TD sneak to make it 26-16 with 4:19 left in the third quarter. After each defense forced a turnover on downs, Temple began what essentially was the win-sealing drive at midfield at minute into the fourth. Hard runs by Sanders and Ronnie Chapman advanced the Wildcats to the 12 before Allen ran off right tackle and coasted in for a touchdown and a 33-16 lead with 8:23 left.
Seth Culp and Demarkes Mathis led a pack of Wildcat defenders that dropped Rodriguez for a 19-yard loss to his 23 on fourth-and-5, and Temple took full advantage as Sanders outran the defense to the right pylon for the 11-yard TD that made it 40-16 with 6 minutes remaining.
―We were up 40-16, so you’d think so,‖ Spradlin said when asked if Temple played its best game Thursday. ―We felt really good about it. Our kids deserve success because they work so hard.‖ Heights made Temple sweat in the closing minutes, completing a long pass to Greg Haynes and getting a 2-yard TD run from Anderson before Tyrel Stokes recovered Carlos Cacho’s onside kick and took it to the Wildcat 14 with 2:34 left.
Rodriguez then hit Haynes for a TD pass and Anderson added the 2-point run to make it 40-30, but Temple was ready on Cacho’s next well-executed onside kick as Sanders — who else? — dashed to snare it near the sideline to preserve the Wildcats’ vital win.
Next for rejuvenated Temple is its annual rivalry battle with the Belton Tigers (4-1, 1-1) a week from tonight at Wildcat Stadium.
Said Mikeska: ―I’m looking forward to beating them, plain and simple.‖ By Greg Wille – Temple Daily Telegram Temple
I'm a 'middle-age' cheerleader happily married to my high school boyfriend! I call him Coach.... because he is one! A Texas high school football coach to be exact...and the finest man I've ever known. I love him. I love encouraging him and our three 'twenty something' children (aaahh...just the thought of them brings tears to my eyes)plus a growing family and many precious friends. All of which have blessed me deeply! And that's why I love to cheer!