BELTON — Brett Sniffin talked early last week about the importance of his football team limiting its mistakes.

Speaking a few days after Belton’s 50-15 setback to Bell County rival Temple, during which the Tigers surrendered 28 points set up by two interceptions and two blocked punts, the second-year Belton head coach was straightforward in his analysis.

“We can’t do it,” Sniffin plainly said. “When we don’t do it, we win. When we do it, we lose. So, it’s a pretty simple formula.”

He spoke again on the subject last Thursday after Belton (4-4, 3-2 District 12-6A) secured a key league win over Killeen Ellison, 22-12, during which the Tigers committed just one turnover — an interception that glanced off a receiver’s hands and was gathered by a diving Tyrone Osberry with less than a minute left in the first half.

The miscue didn’t lead to points for the Eagles because Belton’s Braxton Haynes sacked Kason Sims for a 9-yard loss on the final play of the half. It was a sign of things to come in the second half for the Tigers, who trailed 12-7 at the break after struggling to find an offensive rhythm against the Eagles’ imposing defensive front.

“As long as we don’t give people short fields with turnovers and bad special teams, our defense is pretty good,” Sniffin reiterated shortly after the Tigers shut out Ellison in the second half and used a pair of 85-yard drives that culminated in touchdown connections from Ty Brown to Seth Morgan to post the comeback win.

Looking at the result, it would appear as if Belton took its coach’s message to heart, and it could go a long way in determining its postseason future. A win against Killeen Shoemaker (3-4, 2-3) this week would punch the Tigers’ first playoff ticket since 2018. Kickoff against the Grey Wolves is set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Killeen’s Leo Buckley Stadium.

Last week’s win was Belton’s first game this year in which it didn’t fumble and just the third in which it committed just one turnover. The others were against Bryan and Georgetown, also wins.

Along with tidying up the miscues, it took another strong defensive showing and a reawakened offense in the second half to get the job done against Ellison.

After managing only two first downs and 5 yards rushing on five first-half possessions, four of which were three-and-outs, the Tigers turned the tables in the game’s final 24 minutes by using their passing game to open up the running game and notching touchdowns on two of their four second-half drives.

It’s a trend Sniffin hopes his team can continue against Shoemaker, which features a potent offense that averages 38 points per game.

“I think we need to build off the momentum of the second half of last week,” he said. “That was probably one of the best offensive outputs that we’ve had in doing what we want to do, so we have to continue that this game.”

Against Ellison, Brown found Morgan for a 27-yard strike on the first play of the third quarter to ignite an 11-play drive that included a critical 11-yard scamper by Brown on fourth-and-8 from the Tigers 44-yard line. Slade LeBlanc later ripped off a 14-yard run for a first down, marking Belton’s longest rush of the game, and the Tigers were set up in the red zone when an Eagles defender was whistled for a personal foul for a late hit on LeBlanc.

Three plays later, Brown hit Morgan for a 15-yard score and threw to Bryan Henry for the 2-point conversion and a 15-12 cushion with 8:04 left in the third.

Henry also hauled in a 62-yard touchdown for Belton’s lone score of the first half, a play that made up all but 32 of the team’s 94 yards in the first two quarters, and Morgan tacked on a 27-yard TD catch midway through the fourth.

Brown completed 17 of 24 passes for 216 yards and three TDs. Morgan and Henry accounted for 200 yards receiving after combining for just one catch the week prior against Temple. Morgan, who finished with eight catches, had all but 4 of his 92 yards in the second half. Henry led all players with 108 yards on six grabs.

“Temple took away some of the things we like to do, but we were able to do them against Ellison,” Sniffin said.”

The defense took care of the rest.

Kage Carmichael’s team-leading fourth interception of the year set up Belton’s first-half score, and the Tigers stayed in Ellison’s backfield much of the night, stopping the Eagles at or behind the line of scrimmage 14 times. That included a Taylor Evans sack on fourth down after Ellison had reached the Belton 10 late in the fourth.

That was the last threat the Eagles made.

The Tigers ended the night with a season-high six sacks — two each by Haynes and Gabe Kalama, and one each from Evans and Donovan Thompson. Tanner Conroy had two tackles for loss.

The Tigers now turn their attention to the Grey Wolves for another Thursday night game that marks their third trip to Leo Buckley Stadium this fall.

Sniffin said the Tigers’ biggest area of emphasis will be in trying to limit the speed of Shoemaker quarterback Omari Evans and receiver Khamari Terrell, both of whom double as track stars in the spring.

“Fast, fast, fast and faster,” Sniffin said in describing the pair.

Sniffin said the Wolves are a run-dominant team and will use the rush to set up short passes to try to get the ball to playmakers such as Terrell in open space.

“We have to make them run sideways,” he said. “We can’t let them go downhill. (Evans) tries to retreat, make plays. We just have to keep him in front, keep making him run sideways.”

NOTES: Thompson had eight stops against Ellison, giving him a team-high 56 on the season, followed by Wriley Madden at 52 and Aaron Bain at 50. . . . The Tigers’ six sacks against the Eagles almost doubled their season output, giving them 13 on the year, led by Thompson and Kalama, with three apiece. . . . Haynes leads in hurries with six, and Thompson has forced a team-best three fumbles.