By Tony Adams
Friday night at Dragon Stadium was a strange night, indeed. In a night where the offense was plentiful, the Belton Tigers could not contain the Round Rock offense. Belton dropped to 0-3 on the 2013 campaign with a 44-15 loss in Round Rock.
The loss comes on the heels of District 8-5A play starting next Friday night at Tiger Field against Harker Heights.
Following Belton starting the ballgame with a three-and-out drive, the Dragons put together an eight play, 73-yard drive, covering 3:21. DeAndre Story put Round Rock on the board with a 17-yard sprint up the middle to give the Dragons a 7-0 lead with 7:15 to go in the first quarter.
Belton took the ensuing kickoff and got a first down in the first three plays. The drive stalled on a false start. Quarterback Shane Stafford, throwing into a brisk wind, tried to covert a third down and 20 yard pass. The wind knocked it down and it was intercepted by Mason Ramirez, giving the ball to the Dragons on the Tigers’ 39-yard line.
Two plays later, Dragons’ quarterback Collin Hinson busted through the line for a 39-yard touchdown. With 4:00 left in the first quarter, Round Rock jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead.
Belton’s next drive was a quick one. On the second play into the drive, another wind affected, Stafford pass was picked off. This time, Brandon Zaleski returned the interception 46 yards for a Round Rock touchdown. Just 8:50 into the ball game, the Tigers were in a 21-0 hole.
The Tigers had more success on the next drive, as Stafford mixed passes in with his rushing. The biggest play of the drive and highlight of the night was on fourth down and 13 yards-to-go on the Round Rock 37-yard line, Stafford found a diving Bryce Thomas for a 16-yard. Drive saving first down. In five plays following the catch, Kavan Johnson put the Tigers on the scoreboard with a 3-yard run. The two-point attempt failed and Tigers were down 21-6 with 10:13 remaining in the half.
Belton’s penchant for onside kicks rose up again as Nick Amato hit an onside kick that was recovered by Andre Ewing on the Round Rock 48-yard line. The recovery for Belton’s fourth successful onsides conversion in six tries.
Stafford hit John Holmes on an 18-yard pass play to the Dragons’ 30-yard line. Stafford took the next snap and rushed it 21 yards to the 9-yard line. Following a 5-yard rush, Kyle Adamson busted into the end zone with a 4-yard score that he took no less than six defenders with him on. The two point conversion failed and Belton trailed by nine points at 21-12 with 8:34 remaining in the second quarter.
Round Rock took the next kickoff and went on another time consuming drive, taking over five minutes off of the clock. A fake punt kept the ball in the Dragons’ hands. In 10 plays and 70 yards, Story scored his second touchdown on the night, breaking across the end line for a 6-yard touchdown run. Round Rock made the score 28-12 with 4:24 remaining in the half.
The Tigers took 2:44 to score their next set of points. Aided by a Dragon facemask penalty, the Tigers positioned Amato at the Round Rock 19-yard line. He booted a 36-yard field goal and made the score 28-15 with 1:34 left in the half.
However, the 1:34 was all that the Dragons needed to answer the field goal. Aided by three, 15-yard penalties on the defense, Round Rock got a 32-yard field from Parsa Kosari to make the score 31-15.
The second half started with a Hinson rush on the read option for six yards. Keyon Dilosa got into the rushing success with a 38-yard scamped to the Belton 12-yard line. Just two plays later, Hinson crossed the goal line on a 6-yard carry and Round Rock led 38-15 with 8:46 remaining in the third quarter.
Belton was unsuccessful on the next driving, only advancing the ball 14 yards. The drive stalled out on a late-called holding penalty, as the Tigers punted the ball back to Round Rock.
The Dragons started the next drive with a Josh Webber 14-yard gain. With the Belton defense halting the drive, Round Rock punted to Belton. The punt hit a Belton defender and was recovered by the Dragons at the Belton 24-yard line. The play set up another Kosari field goal, this time from 25 yards to make the score 41-15 with 2:31 remaining in the third quarter.
Belton got the ball back and had another three-and-out possession. Stafford punted the ball 48 yard to Round Rock, who drew a kick catch interference penalty on Belton. The Dragons took 7:43 off the clock, taking 13 plays and 51 yards to score the final points of the contest on a 20-yard field goal by Kosari to make the final score 44-15.
“That’s a good Round Rock team over there,” said Belton coach Rodney Southern. “We knew they would be the toughest team on the non-district schedule. Penalties did hurt us tonight. But we have to look forward to district starting next week against Harker Heights.”
All Belton elementary, middle schools, and BNT@W will be selling student tickets Monday through Thursday for $3.00.
Belton High will be selling student tickets during all four lunches on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Price is $3.00.
Reserved seats and general admission tickets may be purchased on-line until Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. Reserved red chairs are $11.00. Reserved bench are $9.00. General admission tickets are $8.00. The website is: http://www.schedulefm.com/belton/stadium
The Athletic Business Office will be selling tickets on Thursday and Friday. Hours are 8:00 am until 3:00 pm.