Despite dominating the line of scrimmage in the second half of the District 3-5A contest on Friday at Roo Stadium, the Weatherford Kangaroos kept the Paschal Panthers in the game with too much generosity. Grinding out 400 yards of rushing offense, with three Weatherford runners topping 100 yards each, a potential blowout became a nail-biter to the final tick of the game clock.
But just as they had at the end of the first half, the Grant Werts-led offense maneuvered down the field, ultimately giving place kicker Trey Rich a shot at winning the game with a 29-yard field goal. Just as his four extra-points had done earlier in the contest, Rich’s boot sailed true, splitting the uprights and giving Weatherford a 31-28 district win.
“We tried our very hardest to give that game away, it seems,” Weatherford Head Coach Reid Waller said. “But our defense rose to the occasion a couple of times when their backs were up against it in the second half. They just kept fighting and that gave us the chance to win.
“Trey [Rich] came through for us with the field goal. He thought he was going to get one at 42 [yards out], but I was glad we could get the ball as close as we finally did.”
Knotted at 28-all after the Panthers scored on a 10-yard TD pass, Weatherford took its final possession of the game at its own 25-yard line with 1:38 remaining on the clock.
An incomplete pass and a false start penalty gave a foreboding of looming overtime, but the mood changed drastically on the next play, a 48-yard scamper by Werts. The junior would have four more consecutive rushes in the drive, setting up the game-winning field goal with six seconds left in the contest.
Although the Panthers were moving the ball through the air in the first half, their first score was set up by the defense, who picked off a mid-air lateral after the Roos had driven 55 yards on their initial possession.