KATY — Quarterback Connor Crews rushed for three short second-half touchdowns after Lake Belton went scoreless before halftime, and the Broncos held on to beat Katy Jordan 21-17 on Saturday afternoon at Jack Rhodes Memorial Stadium.
Lake Belton improved to 7-0 this season after the fourth meeting between the two second-year programs. They played last month with the Broncos securing a 35-28 win.
“When you play someone four times in two years, they know the people, the strengths, know where to attack. (Jordan) played a different defense and some different coverages,” said Lake Belton head coach Brian Cope, whose squad is 4-0 versus Jordan. “Our kids were resilient after being down at halftime for the first time all year.”
Crews’ third TD plunge Saturday, a 1 yarder early in the fourth quarter, lifted Lake Belton to the four-point advantage. It was the fifth and final lead change in the second half as both offenses found rhythm following a defensively dominated first half.
The Warriors (1-6), who led 3-0 at the half Saturday and have lost their last four by an average of 4.75 points, had a chance to cut the deficit to one but a bad snap on a field goal attempt for the second time left it 21-17.
Jordan got the ball back with about 1:20 remaining after an interception by Braden Franklin. The Warriors drove to the Lake Belton 29-yard line where the drive sputtered and Manuel Herrera sacked Colin Willetts as time expired.
Lake Belton had the ball first out of intermission and traveled 75 yards in 14 plays with Crews crashing in for a 4-yard TD and the Broncos’ first lead.
Ifeanyi Monye put the Warriors right back in front with a 2-yard TD run to make it 10-7 before the Broncos answered on the next drive with Crews’ 1-yard TD for 14-10.
Zion Jones returning the ensuing kickoff 70 yards to the end zone for 17-14.
Crews’ third TD came next.
“He’s a team captain, an incredible leader and a heck of a quarterback,” Cope said. “He wanted the ball in his hands and we gave it to him.”
The second-half offensive awakening followed a quick-moving first half left time for just three possessions for Lake Belton — two punts and a turnover on downs after a bad snap on a third punt — and four for Jordan, and ended 3-0 for the host Warriors.
“We just didn’t execute a drive in the first half but we did in the second and that’s what’s important,” Cope said. “Our coaches made great adjustments. We added a new wrinkle to our run game, something that we’ve worked but brought it in and the kids executed it.”
Jordan, which spent much of the opening 24 minutes in Broncos territory, put up its first points on its first drive with Jake Kilander’s 22-yard field goal.
Lake Belton’s defense forced the Warriors to settle for a 21-yard field goal attempt on their second drive, but a bad snap derailed the try.
On Jordan’s ensuing possession, the Broncos defense hunkered down inside its 5-yard line for a third time in the first half, stuffing a Warriors ball carrier short of a first down and the goal line on fourth-and-1 from the 2.
“Coach (Randy) Hooton’s defense did a phenomenal job in the red zone,” Cope said.