— By GREG WEBB
NORTH RICHLAND HILLS — In its first offensive series Friday at Birdville’s Fine Arts-Athletic Complex, the Weatherford Kangaroos showed promise, gaining 12 yards and a first down on a throw from WHS’ starting quarterback Grant Werts to fleet slot receiver Fred Brownlee.
After the next three plays left the Roos short by three at mid-field, Weatherford punted, and so started up the Richland whirlwind, which eventually resulted in a WHS 46-14 loss.
The much-ballyhooed opener for Weatherford was a disappointment for the Roos, and no more so than their head coach.
“We just didn’t play very well,” said head coach Weldon Nelms. “I think this is a much better team than the performance we put out here tonight.
We didn’t tackle or block very well, so it goes back to fundamentals.”
The Rebels’ first play from scrimmage was indicative of the kind of night in store for the Roos, with Richland quarterback Brandon Maines connecting with receiver Adrien Itoka for a 21-yard reception.
Maines threw for chunks of yardage on the drive, completing tosses of 15, 20 and 16 yards, the latter a scoring strike to running back CJ Hicks, which began the scoring for the Rebels. The Richland quarterback found open receivers through most of the contest, connecting for 11 of 13 attempts for more than 190 yards and two scores.
Weatherford’s answering possession began well, with senior quarterback Jason Werts keeping the ball for a 16-yard scamper. The momentum did not last for the Roos, forced to punt after a subsequent three downs.
“I thought we had pretty good momentum building in that first drive,” Nelms said. “And in the first half we had a handful of drives that we had fourth-and-short and just couldn’t quite get over the hump.
“Then we had the turnover and it just got away from us after that.”