Bulldawgs look to return to win column tonight against Roos
By TJ MAXWELL
On paper, tonight’s matchup between the Copperas Cove Bulldawg football team and the Killeen Kangaroos looks like it could end up in a dead heat with Killeen just above Copperas Cove in the district’s offensive statistics and Cove edging Killeen defensively.
“They are playing good,” head football coach and athletic director Jack Alvarez said of tonight’s opponent. “I think they had a big back move in from Alabama that is a war horse and they’ve got another offensive lineman they moved in there. I don’t know if they are as big as (Belton) but I do think we are seeing two of the best teams in district right off the bat.”
Killeen is currently fourth in the district in total yards per contest with 348.3 while the Bulldawgs come in at fifth of the nine teams with 298.7 yards of total offense per contest.
The Bulldawgs edge the Roos in the defensive stats with Cove allowing just 221.3 yards per outing. The Roos give up 226.3 yards per contest.
They are also very similar in turnovers the Bulldawgs have lost seven fumbles while taking away six. Killeen has lost five and recovered five. Cove has the edge in interceptions with three to Killeen’s two.
Both teams also have running backs in the top three of the district with Killeen sophomore Kadarius Marshall leading the pack with 59 carries for 411 yards and four touchdowns.
Copperas Cove senior Shontez Simmons comes in at third with 45 carries for 382 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Micah Cox comes in at 12 with 25 carries for 156 yards and two scores.
Both quarterbacks are back-to-back in passing statisticts as well. Killeen junior James Terry is fourth with an impressive 51 of 58 passing for 489 yards and four scores with no interceptions. Cove senior quarterback Easton Simpson is fifth with 32 for 54 for 293 yards and three scores.
Cove has the district’s no. 2 receiver in senior Quinton Lewis (17 catches for 207 yards and a touchdown) while Killeen senior D.J. Dormeus comes in tied for seventh with 11 grabs for 175 yards and a score.
Cove junior Jahmeel Rice also breaches the top 10 with nine catches for 142 yards and two scores.
The Bulldawgs’ district-high three interceptions were by three different guys with seniors Dimitri Bell and Tommy Connell grabbing one each and the other going to junior Nate David.
Seniors Tavion Grant and Ja’Mari Morris accounted for the Roos’ two picks.
The Bulldawgs’ defense is led by sophomore Kendall Parker and senior Jaylan Brown with 14 tackles each followed by senior Darrell Quichocho (10.5) and David following.
Alvarez wasn’t thrilled with the mistakes made at Belton but he knows that this program is a work in progress with just a few short weeks to get ready for the season.
“I hate to say that a district game is practice,” Alvarez said after the Belton loss. “We’re going to have to treat part of this like practice and not dwell on it long but fix the mistakes.
“I think we’re getting better. Hopefully we just get better at the right time.”