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Waskom takes win from visiting Paul Pewitt, 35-22

By Tyler Clifton
Oct. 5, 2012 at 10 p.m.

WASKOM - Nothing truly worthwhile ever comes easy, and Waskom found out on Friday night. A lengthy losing streak in district play was on the line, and head coach Whitney Keeling wasn't even aware of it.

Visiting Paul Pewitt entered Wildcat Stadium with all of its playoff pedigree, but Waskom beat the Brahmas at their own game when it came to hard-nosed, ball-control offense. Kevin Johnson rushed eight times for 139 yards and three touchdowns, and fullback Gage Meshell added 107 yards on 12 carries and two scores in a 35-22 win to end a 19-game district losing streak dating back to 2008.

"I had no idea about the streak until the game was over, but I'm very proud of our kids tonight," Keeling said. "Our offensive line did really well, and Coach (Daniel) Swaim had them ready to play against their talented defensive front. Every team in our district is good, and it's going to be a battle every week."

Waskom (4-1, 1-1, District 9-2A DII) entered the third quarter with a 21-8 lead and continued to dictate the tempo. Quarterback William "Boo" McKnight moved the chains on third down, and Johnson broke up the middle and avoided an ankle tackle for his second touchdown of the night from 40 yards out to put Waskom up by 20.

Paul Pewitt's offense was its own worst enemy, moving only 15 yards in 10 plays to midfield. Rustin McFarland was forced into a passing situation, and freshman linebacker Mike Reason intercepted the senior midway through the third quarter.

Waskom turned the ball over after a fumble on a belly-option play, and the Brahmas took advantage with Darion Ivory's 42-yard run and McFarland's two-point conversion to get within 12 at 28-16.

The Brahmas (0-5, 0-2) later marched 58 yards on 12 plays, converting three third-down plays, including Devonta Williams' 3-yard touchdown run whittled the deficit to single digits at 28-22, and Paul Pewitt's Brooks Johnston recovered a pooch kick to make things interesting in the final 6 ½ minutes.

Waskom's defense wasn't about to let the game slip away, with a host of defenders sacking McFarland on fourth down. McKnight and Meshell each ran for 21 yards, and Johnson took a pitch and ran the final 11 yards to the eventual final margin.

Kris Monroe and Javier Sanchez combined for another sack late in the game, and Paul Pewitt drove to the Wildcat 24 before being stopped short of making it a one-possession affair. Marcos Jiminez sacked McFarland, and Waskom ran out the final 15 seconds to get the proverbial monkey off their back.

"Our defense turned things up a notch from the second quarter on and gave our offense opportunities on short fields," Keeling said. "Our offense played well in the first half, but for some reason things didn't click in the third quarter, but we came back and played so strong on both sides in the fourth quarter."

Waskom's defense took control from the start, with Jose Agundiz recovering a fumble to help set up the Wildcats' first touchdown drive. Johnson ran for 30 yards on third-and-1, and Meshell scored on a 4-yard burst up the middle for an early 7-0 lead.

Paul Pewitt got the ball near midfield after a second Waskom pooch kick, and Isaiah Porter ran 41 yards to the Wildcat 10. Porter ran nine yards into the end zone on third-and-goal and ran in the two-point play to give the Brahmas their lone lead of the game, 8-7, and it would last into the second quarter.

Waskom dominated the next 12 minutes, and Brandon Edel kept the drive alive on its opening possession after running 14 yards to set up a fourth-and-short. McKnight moved the chains, and Meshell broke through again and raced 50 yards to the end zone for his second touchdown and 14-8 advantage.

Chandrin Amie and Damarcus Mitchell had sacks midway through the quarter to thwart a Paul Pewitt drive, and it set Waskom up in Brahma territory for the third time in the first half.

Meshell had a pair of 3-yard runs, and McKnight pitched to Johnson at the last second. The sophomore ran 41 yards for his first touchdown and a 21-8 Wildcat advantage. Meshell and Agundiz added sacks later in the quarter to send the Wildcats into the break up by 13.

Paul Pewitt was held to 206 yards of offense, all on the ground, with Waskom recording eight sacks for minus-64 yards. Porter ran seven times for 58 yards in the first half but didn't return in the second.



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