Kerens needed to play a mistake-free, above-your-head type of game to beat Hico. Two early fumbles put the Bobcats in a hole, but even without them, Kerens was going to find the sledding tough Thursday.
Hico runs the power running game to near perfection, and built a 32-point halftime lead en route to 77-30 Region II-1A DI win over the Bobcats in Midlothian. The Tigers ran for 564 yards and scored three times in their first five plays.
They threw only once. All night.
Kerens (5-6) made a second-half surge, putting 20 points on the board, but it was a too little, too late.
Nate Betts threw two touchdowns to Brett Anderson, and Donterias Bryant had 110 yards and touchdown for the Bobcats. Betts ran for 54 and threw for 126 more.
Kerens fumbled a total of nine times, losing four. Betts was also intercepted once.
Hico (10-1) began its runway in the first minute and a half, taking advantage of two Kerens fumbles and taking a 14-0 lead on touchdown runs by Duane Hyles and Blake Hyles. The two drives covered 11 and 28 yards, the second after the Bobcats fumbled on the kickoff after it was 6-0.
Finally, Kerens put a drive together, and even though it ended in a punt, it was a good one, penning Hico at the 15. The good fortune didn’t last long. Cade Hitzfeld went 85 yards on the first play, and Hico led 21-0 with 7:52 to go in the first.
Kerens needed to keep the ball out of the hands of Hico’s power run game, and managed to do soon its third drive of the night. The first big play for the Bobcats came on the second play, when Nate Betts rolled right, and found a diving Brett Anderson for 28 yards.
The drive included a 2-yard Betts run on fourth-and-1 to keep the drive alive. On the next play, Betts fired a bullet to Anderson in the end zone, putting the Bobcats on the board, and putting Anderson over 2,000 receiving yards in his career. Jovani Coronado’s extra point made it 21-7, and Kerens appeared to be in business.
The Bobcats finally got a stop, when Hico tried a trick play and quarterback Hunter Wood fumbled then lost 10 yards, and on fourth down his lone first half attempt was incomplete in the end zone. But Kerens responded with a three and out, and Hico returned the punt for a touchdown. A block in the back negated it, but Hitzfeld went 25 yards on the first play, it was 28-10 and the rout was on.
Kerens got fourth quarter scores from Bryant and Logan Gorden. Coronado added a first hald field goal from 26 yards out.
Hico 77, Kerens 30
Hico 21 21 14 21 — 77
Kerens 7 3 14 6 — 30
H — Duane Hyles 7 run (kick failed), 10:40
H — Blake Hyles 7 run (Blake Hyles run), 10:22
H — Cade Hitzfeld 85 run (Edgar Herrera kick), 7:52
K — Brett Anderson 26 pass from Nate Betts (Jovani Coronado kick), 4:30
H — Hitzfeld 25 run (Herrera kick), 11:37
K — Coronado 26 field goal, 5:45
H — Duane Hyles 17 run (Herrera kick), 4:11
H — Blake Hyles 16 run (Herrera kick), 9:40
K — Anderson 14 pass from Betts (Coronado kick), 4:29
H — Mullins 16 run (Herrera kick), 3:29
K — Donterias Bryant 7 run (Coronado kick), :23
H — Dallas Anderson 35 run (Herrera kick), 11:14
K — Logan Gorden 5 run (kick failed), 10:39
H — Ethan Warren 3 run (Herrera kick), 5:44
H — Warren 35 run (Herrera kick), 3:27
First downs 19 18
Rush-yards 42-564 52-293
Passing yards 0 126
C-A-I 0-1-0 7-16-1
Fumbles-lost 3-1 9-4
Punts-avg. 0-0 3-37
Penalties-yards 7-55 5-35
Rushing — H: Duane Hyles 7-106, Blake Hyles 5-22, Cade Hitzfeld 6-197, Dakota Mullins 4-51, Tyle Turner 4-41, Hunter Wood 1-(-10), . K: Nate Betts 22-54, Tavion Hall 6-35, Donterias Bryant 10-110, Kevin Askey 2-10, Shelton Sayles 1-6, Dequaylon Bivins 7-62, Logan Golden 4-16.
Passing — H: Wood 0-1-0-0. K: Betts 7-16-1-126.
Receiving — H: none. K: Brett Anderson 3-68, Sayles 1-7, Bryant 2-45, Hall 1-6.