HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Brown, Vista Ridge overwhelm Killeen in final non-district game

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I hope you started Vista Ridge quarterback Kyle Brown in your Central Texas High School fantasy football league.

The junior finished 21-for-30 passing for 257 yards and four touchdowns, and rushed 10 times for 50 yards and a pair of scores to help the Rangers dominate Killeen 51-29 Thursday night at Gupton Stadium.

"The confidence keeps going up and up every day," Brown said. "We've got a bunch of good receivers, and they always find a way to get open."

Brown connected with eight different receivers.

Senior Adam Fogg led the group with five receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown. Ethan Heffelfinger caught six passes for 72 yards, Nathan Schlapkohl had three receptions for 72 yards and a score, and Jacob Bowerman caught three passes for 19 yards and a touchdown.

"I think all the work these guys have put in since November to get better, whether it's 7-on-7 and in the summer," Vista Ridge head coach Rodney Vincent said. "That work he's done with those receivers has been beneficial for him."

Both Brown and Vincent said the biggest reason the offense was able to get in a good groove was the offensive line.

Killeen's 6-foot-1, 275-pound defensive tackle Ta'Shoyn Johnson - who is committed to play at North Texas next season - didn't touch Brown the entire game. The Rangers didn't give up a sack.

"The offensive line keeps improving every week, and they gave me just enough time to get the ball out," Brown said.

The Rangers marched right down the field on the first drive of the game, going 72 yards in seven plays and scoring on a one-yard plunge by brown.

But the Rangers coughed up the ball on its next two possessions, first on a fumble two plays into a drive, and again on a kickoff return. The Kangaroos capitalized with nine points from the two turnovers.

Sent Hughes booted a 33-yard field goal to give the Rangers a lead in the first quarter. After the defense came up with a turnover on the ensuing kickoff, Brown hit Schlapkohl with a 41-yard play-action pass.

Killeen cut the Vista Ridge lead to just a point when it scored on the first two drives of the second half.

But the Rangers scored on their next four drives to put the game out of reach, including an electric 92-yard kickoff return by junior Emon Allen.

For 10 seconds in the fourth quarter, three of four plays ended in a touchdown.

The Rangers had a year to forget last season, winning just one game and finishing second-to-last in District 13-6A. But the Rangers never got too down on themselves and had a good offseason that included a trip to state 7-on-7 tournament.

"It's how we go about doing things," Vincent said. "People talk about some changes that we've made on offense and defense, but it's how these kids go about things on a daily basis. I'm most proud of that."

The Rangers begin the District 13-6A schedule next Friday night at Gupton Stadium against McNeil.

"Hopefully it gives them some confidence," Vincent said. "They've put in so much hard work, and I'm really proud of the way they've handled themselves to give them an opportunity to come out and play like they did tonight."

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