The Weather seem to have set the tone for this game between the visiting 12-5A Belton Tigers and 16-5A McNeil Mavericks here at RRIDS Stadium Friday night in Round Rock.
After a 45 minute lighting delay to start the game, the play, as well as the scoring followed suite. Belton offense was powered by Junior standout David Ash, who went 6-for-17 passing and a career-low 61 yards, but he threw for two touchdowns and two 2-point conversions to go with a 17-yard TD run.
The first half of play was marred by a total of 22 penalties from both sides, and neither team really threatening to put points on the board. McNeil took the honors first, by default of a high snap late in the first quarter that sailed over Ash's head, who alertly turned and batted the ball out of the back of the end zone giving the Mavericks a 2-0 lead.
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Turns out, this would be only scoring on the night for McNeil.
In the second quarter the Tigers finally mounted some momentum, and found the end zone, as Belton's signal caller Ash scored on a 17 yard run. The attempt for the two point conversion was successful, with Ash connecting with all purpose back Kenny Shuler to jump in front in the contest 8-2. This is how the score stood thought the half.
The second half started out much like the first with both teams trading three and outs, until midway through the quarter, when Belton's Kenny Shuler, on a first down play, took a hand off sweeping to his right, and cutting it up field, going 80 yards untouched to pay dirt. Shuler again was the recipient of the successful two point conversion pass from Ash, making the score Tigers 16 and Mavericks 2.
Ash, a junior, started to find a groove, as he followed the prior score up, leading his troops down the field with another connection for points a few series later, hitting wide-out Jeff Lepak from 10 yards out, pushing the Tigers lead up to 20. The kick failed, leaving the score at 22-2 Ash, know for his strong arm passing, made quite a few runs out of the pocket throughout the evening.
When asked, Ash had this to say " Whenever there's nothing there, I bail and try to make something happen. I really should have stayed in the pocket more tonight, I just wasn't picking up things too good, and I didn't think I played very well, but we won, and that's all that matters. I will say... my linemen blocked well, it was just really my fault on those things(on leaving out of the pocket to soon) as I normally don't run out of it that much".
Ash went on to praise his teams defense, for basically "pitching a shut-out" in the game. "Hats off to the defense,they played amazingly, they played hard, and executed well". The big 6-3, 205lb. right hander QB is already on the radar of quite a few colleges, with the University of Houston already offering for the 2011 product.
Ash added on one more scoring strike midway through the fourth period, when he hit Kyle Rhoads on a 23 yard pass/catch and run. The extra point was good making the score 29-2 in favor of the Tigers.
Belton(2-0) tacked on a late TD run by Jonathan Paysse of 43 yards, and with the extra point tacked on, that finished out the scoring on the night for both teams McNeil made one last effort to get into the end zone, but the drive stalled out inside the Belton 5 yard line as time expired, leaving the final score Tigers 36, Mavs 2.
McNeil(0-2) was lead by their junior quarterback, Cole Smith, who was 15 of 32 for 186 through the air, and Senior TB Adrian Smith, going for 98 yards on 26 carries.