Round Rock uses fast start to defeat Stony Point
Updated: September 24, 2016
photo: Steve Thomas
Dragons make it six-straight against rival Tigers
Separated by less than three miles, the Round Rock Dragons and the Round Rock Stony Point Tigers have been rivals since Stony Point began playing varsity football in 2000. Friday night’s game at Kelly Reeves Stadium marked the seventeenth meeting between the two schools. Coming into the game, Round Rock led the series 10-6 including five-consecutive wins since 2011. For Round Rock, this game offered a chance to begin their quest for a district title with a win following a close loss to Belton the week before. For Stony Point, the game was a chance to put their 1-3 non-district record behind them and open district play at 1-0.
Early in the game, the Dragons looked poised to run away with the game. Sophomore running back Marquis Brown scored two touchdowns on the ground, and senior defensive back Brian Bolger returned a pick six 82 yards to give the Dragons a 20-0 lead late in the first quarter.
The Dragons’ defense then forced Stony Point to turn the ball over on downs to open the second quarter, but the Tigers’ defense stepped up in response. Stony Point Senior linebacker Shon Shepard had a sack and tackle for loss while senior linebacker Dante Smith added a sack to force the Dragons to go three-and-out.
Senior tight end Victor Ekwuribe opened the next Stony Point drive with a 26-yard catch, but a snap over the head of junior quarterback Jack Driskell killed any momentum with a 22-yard loss. The Tigers were forced to punt.
The Stony Point defense responded again for the Tigers and held the Dragons to a net gain of zero yards on the drive.
The Stony Point Tiger once again had a chance to tighten the score and did just that. Driskell connected with senior wide receiver Dashun Horne for a 65-yard touchdown catch. Both offenses struggled to end the half, and the Dragons went into halftime with a 20-7 lead.
For the Tigers, the start of the second got off to a disastrous start. On the first play from scrimmage, Jack Driskell fumbled the snap for a five-yard loss. After the Tigers managed to get a first down, the Dragons’ defense used a tackle for loss and a sack by senior linebacker Ryan McGreevy to force the Tigers to punt. The Tigers caught a huge break on the punt when a chop block against Round Rock wiped a touchdown return off the scoreboard. Shon Shepard recorded his second sack of the night and senior defensive lineman Matthew Robinson added another, and the Dragons were again forced to punt.
Stony Point looked to make it a game when Horne narrowed the gap to 20-14 with a 38-yard touchdown catch. Later in the third quarter, Round Rock senior quarterback Marc Reed took advantage of excellent field position and capped off a three-play 41-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown keeper. Reed then connected with junior wide receiver Jason Uwaeze for a two-point conversion to put the Dragons up 28-14.
The Dragons recovered the onside kick but had to re-kick after an offside penalty. The resulting kickoff went to Stony Point. After the Tigers went three-and-out, the game was once again put in the hands of their defense.
Senior defensive back Jaylen Walter intercepted Reed’s pass and set up the Tigers at the 50-yard line. Despite excellent field position, the Tigers were forced to settle for a field goal by senior kicker Santiago Maya after an illegal-formation penalty wiped off a 13-yard touchdown catch. What looked like a 28-21 game was now 28-17.
Shepard recovered a fumble for the Tigers early in the fourth quarter, but the offense was unable to capitalize. Round Rock senior kicker Nate Spangenburg then extended the Dragons’ lead to 31-17 with a 37-yard field that bounced over the crossbar.
Things got heated on the following kickoff, and Round Rock junior defensive Kenneth Hitchcock was ejected for punching a Stony Point player. After a three-and-out for Stony Point, Reed put the game away with a 79-yard touchdown run to give the Dragons the 38-17 win.
Round Rock senior defensive end James Lynch also put forth an impressive performance with 3 1/2 sacks.
With the win, Round Rock improves to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in district. The Dragons have a bye week before hosting Pflugerville on October 7 at Dragon Stadium.
Stony Point, meanwhile, falls to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in district. Next week, the Tigers travel to Kuempel Stadium to take on that same Pflugerville squad. The Panthers are 2-3 overall and 1-0 in district following a 31-0 win over Round Rock McNeil.
by Steve Thomas