Record-setting point total, improvement on D key to 2016

by / 0 Comments / 60 View / December 1, 2016

Anytime you have a team that can average 43.75 points per game in a season, it’s an indication of a team that is hitting on all cylinders.
Welcome to the Belton Tigers of 2016.
Fresh off of a 2015 where they scored 452 points in 11 games (41.1 points per game), the Tigers have shattered that mark with 525 points through 12 games. That is a full touchdown better than 2015.
The 525 points also contains 12 points from the defense from Garrison Vaughn’s four-interception, two-touchdown performance against Killeen. It doesn’t accurately show how the defense and special teams set up the offense for many of the points from short fields for the offense to work with.
From all three sides of the ball, the Belton Tigers are as complete a team as there has been in school history.
It did take some work to get there. In fact, it has taken a couple of seasons. When you look at the fact the Tigers have scored 977 points in the last 23 games, ranging back to the opening of the 2015 schedule, the offensive firepower is undeniable. They have led at one point in all of those ball games.
In the pre-district schedule, the Tigers were 3-1, outscoring opponents 186-124. The two closest games were a loss to Temple (28-20) and a last-minute win against Round Rock (41-34).
All four of Belton’s pre-district opponents made the playoffs. Temple is in the regional quarterfinal round of the Class 5A-I playoffs after dropping Corsicana 34-10 and Pflugerville Connally 17-14. They play Port Arthur Memorial at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Berry Center in Cypress.
Round Rock (Class 6A-I) beat Del Valle and Klein Oak, are taking on Coppell at Waco ISD Stadium at 2 p.m. Saturday. Round Rock Stony Point (Class 6A-II), who Belton beat 70-35, beat San Marcos 40-35 in the bi-district round, but was shut out by Houston Westfield 24-0 in the area round.
Pflugerville Hendrickson, who Belton beat at Hawks Field by a score of 55-27, was eliminated in the bi-district round of the Class 6A-I bracket by Austin Bowie 41-28.
Belton’s District 8-6A record was 4-2, defeating Killeen (56-9), Killeen Ellison (56-35), Killeen Shoemaker (56-7) and Copperas Cove (56-21). The irony of those wins is that the Tigers scored 56 points in all four of the wins, outscoring the four opponents 224-72.
They dropped heartbreakers to Harker Heights (34-28) and Waco Midway (49-42 OT). They are games that they led late in, but lost the lead.
The talent on this team is endless. Peyton Mansell at quarterback. Davion Peoples and Bryce Julian at running back. The wide receiving corps of Peoples, Weston Lucas, Logan Collins, Lane Holmes, Cameron Lamm and Riley Brown. John Taggart was a key, making the transition from backup quarterback in 2015 to an inside slot receiver in 2016 and getting the call as the backup quarterback in Copperas Cove, seeing action in the second half.  Loads of talent on the offensive front, which includes tight ends Remington Lutz, James Langford and Marshall Fish, helped the offense’s cause.
On the defensive side, John Harvey, CJ Jones, Justin Buuck, DJ Fisher, Alex Aaron, Clayton Blank, Garrison Vaughn, Hunter Garrett, Joseph Bledsoe, Matt Mahler, Logan Hall and many others contributed mightily, game in and game out.
People ask what the difference is with this team being 12-0 and 8-4?
Realistically, there is no difference. The team is in the exact position, regardless of the three losses. Other than points here or there, this team is the same hungry bunch.
Waco Midway, Harker Heights and Killeen made the playoffs out of the district along with the Tigers. Midway hosted No. 13 Cedar Hill and got crushed 52-17. Heights went to Duncanville and lost by 17 points, 24-7. Killeen traveled to No. 2 De Soto and got sent back home with a 51-7 loss.
South Grand Prairie was battle tested, having lost three games to quality District 7-6A opponents in Duncanville (30-9), No. 13 Cedar Hill (28-21) and No. 2 De Soto (37-31). They also had a bad loss to Arlington Lamar (37-7), who missed the playoffs out of 4-6A.
The Warriors played tougher than a 6-4 team and took the Tigers to the last play, eventually falling to Belton on their home field, 38-30.
Euless Trinity gave No. 1 Allen fits and led 25-24 in the fourth quarter before losing to the Eagles two weeks ago. Belton gave Allen a run and given a few conversions here or there, could have shocked the top-ranked team in the state.
Allen will certainly get a test, having to travel five hours to take on a No. 6 San Angelo Central team who averages 54 points per game, while averaging just under 16 points per game on defense.
If Allen isn’t awake for Central after scares against Trinity and Belton, the Bobcats could send the Eagles back to their nest for the season.
So the teeth on an 8-4 team can be as sharp as a 12-0 team, if you underestimate the beast that is dealt with.
The idea of the “big city” teams dominating the “small town” teams doesn’t always hold water. Sure, the pure numbers of enrollment always comes into play. Allen has the top enrollment in the state as of the 2016-18 reclassification.
Here are the enrollment numbers of the opponents that Belton, who had a listed enrollment of 3,197, which is tops in District 8-6A and ranked 61st in the 6A classification, has faced in 2016, with Temple being the lone 5A opponent:
Allen 6,380 (tops in state), South Grand Prairie 3,363 (46th), Round Rock 3185.5 (62nd), Pflugerville Hendrickson 3,077 (74th), Killeen Ellison 2,842 (110th), Round Rock Stony Point 2,736 (120th), Harker Heights 2,557 (160th), Killeen 2,485 (174th), Killeen Shoemaker 2,434.5 (187th), Waco Midway 2,410.5 (191st), Copperas Cove 2,230 (229th), and Temple 2071.5 (24th in 5A, 246th largest state-wide).
Two years ago, many of the state football writers didn’t give Belton a chance to beat Garland in Class 6A Bi-District round at McLane Stadium in Waco.
Why? They were big city and that’s all some knew. But then the 2014 Tigers came out and shocked the state. Many will never forget the newspaper clip of the seven writers choosing Garland unanimously in front of the team after the 50-27 win and wadding it up. It was one of the more memorable postgame scenes in recent history.
The potential was there and the mood was ripe for a serious upset that would have shook Texas football to its core.
The Tigers put up a great fight against Allen and should be absolutely proud of what they acomplished this season.