The Weatherford Kangaroos gave the community extra reason to celebrate homecoming Friday night at Kangaroo Stadium, routing the Fort Worth Southwest Raiders, 60-13 to close out non-district play a perfect 4-0, the team’s best start since the 1977 season.
After back-to-back, come-from-behind wins in weeks two and three, Weatherford (4-0) closed out non-district competition in dominant fashion, with the offense putting up 30-plus points for the fourth-straight game while the defense allowed a season-low 13 points while recovering two Raider fumbles.
Weatherford Head Coach Billy Mathis credited the hard work of his staff and players, as well as the support and belief of the community in the Kangaroos for reaching the milestone.
“From year one, it’s not like our work ethic has changed,” Mathis said.
“Everybody has been working as hard as they can from the day we got here. It takes a little bit of time to get things going in the direction we wanted them, and I give all credit to my coaches and our football team and everything they’ve put in to get us to this point.
“Now, not only are they physically going out and dominating, but mentally they’re coming out ready to win, and that’s been the biggest turnaround for us. The mental aspect of coming out, starting fast and finishing strong. I’m so proud of the guys, so proud of my coaches, so proud of Weatherford.”
The Roos started fast, forcing a Raiders’ three and out on the game’s opening drive, before senior quarterback Ken Seals hit senior wideout Jorden Wheeler on Weatherford’s first offensive play moments later for a 36-yard scoring strike (the first of six passing TDS for Seals on the night) and 6-0 lead.
That turn of events set the tone for the Kangaroos, who scored 20 points in each of the first three quarters.
In contrast, FW Southwest was held to six and seven points in the first and second quarters, respectively, before being shut out in the second half.
Weatherford’s offense has hummed in 2019, and Friday was no different, as the unit racked up 473 total yards and 23 first downs while finishing an efficient 6-of-7 on third down.
As noted above, Seals enjoyed a prolific showing, accounting for six passing scores, hitting Wheeler, as well as junior running back Dez Forrest for two apiece en route to a 14-of-17 finish for 238 yards.
Seals also connected with junior tight end Nicholas Schwikal and senior wideout Rey Huang for one score each.
However, the team’s offense was hardly one-dimensional, with Forrest, (81 rushing yards and one TD), sophomore running back Aaron Walkotten (97 rushing yards) and freshman Ryan Clark (41 rushing yards and one TD) leading a ground attack which churned out 235 yards.
The large number of individual contributions Weatherford got from its offensive playmakers was a major positive, Mathis said.
“That’s the great thing about our team, our guys are very team-oriented and unselfish,” Mathis said.
“It was Dez and the O-line week one that dominated, last week there wasn’t just a single person that stood out. No one person has to have all the glory.”
The Kangaroos got an equally strong showing from their defense, which, in addition to pitching the second-half shutout and recovering the pair of fumbles, held the Raiders’ offense to a paltry 4-of-12 on third down while allowing only eight first downs and 58 total passing yards (FW Southwest totaled 227 yards of offense on the night).
Mathis said his team’s defense did well negating the impact of FW Southwest’s athleticism on offense with their hustle play.
“Southwest’s quarterback, receivers and running back were very athletic,” Mathis said.
“I was proud of our guys for just doing their job, staying home. I always preach to them, ‘You don’t have to make the tackle to be right, but you have to do your job.’ We went and cut out a lot of the mistakes we’ve been making. Overall, I was very proud of the defense and the effort they put out.”
Weatherford now prepares to enter District 3-6A competition, with a road matchup versus the San Angelo Central Bobcats (2-2) at 7 p.m. Friday at San Angelo Stadium up next.