Josh Weaver

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KILLEEN — The District 12-6A title belongs to Temple.

Mikal Harrison-Pilot’s 8-yard touchdown run provided the Wildcats with their final lead late in Thursday night’s back-and-forth battle against Killeen Shoemaker, and the cushion was protected when defensive linemen Jayven Taylor, Jaylon Jackson and Eric Shorter combined to stop Grey Wolves running back Devin Brown for a loss of 1 yard on fourth-and-1, lifting Temple to an exhilarating 27-24 victory at Leo Buckley Stadium.

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As a result of picking up a win last week after Belton was unable to take the field because of COVID-19 cases and quarantines, Temple clinched a postseason berth for the eighth straight year.

While the Wildcats’ fifth league victory assured them a coveted spot in the Class 6A Division II playoffs that begin during the second week of December, the to-do list at Temple (7-1, 5-0 District 12-6A) is far from filled out, even with that goal checked off. In fact, there is still work to be done in the regular season.

For instance, a district title still is up for grabs.

CEDAR CREEK –— Academy knew it would need every ounce of effort it could muster against Texas-committed running back Jonathon Brooks and Hallettsville during the teams’ Class 3A Division I bi-district playoff tilt.

Like first-year head coach Chris Lancaster expected, his Bees valiantly exhausted their resources on an unseasonably warm Saturday afternoon. But Brooks’ seven-touchdown performance tilted the ultimate outcome in the Brahmas’ favor, and Academy’s turnaround campaign concluded with a 61-26 defeat at Bastrop ISD Memorial Stadium.

Michael Thomas wants Temple basketball to be a state of mind, 24 hours a day, seven days per week and 365 days a year.

Entering his third season at the helm, the Wildcats’ head coach sees a significant shift toward that realm of thinking, though there’s no less drive to reach another level — and then some.

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The coronavirus eventually caught up to District 12-6A, and it sacked one of the area’s most anticipated rivalry matchups.

Temple and Belton independent school districts announced Tuesday through joint news releases that Friday night’s 12-6A football game between the Wildcats and Tigers is canceled and won’t be rescheduled this season, a decision ultimately reached with factors in mind such as time and space on the calendar, safety, equitability and the possibility that COVID-19 can still cause other issues.

Killeen Ellison entered its tangle against Temple with one win in six tries, though three of its losses in District 12-6A were by an average of four points.

The Eagles provided plenty of examples during the early stages Friday night as to why their overall tally carried a bit of deceptiveness to it, taking a quick eight-point lead and holding the Wildcats to 10 first-half points.

However, Temple produced its own evidence toward how it has perched itself at the top of the league standings, wading through a slow start and pulling away for a rather decisive 39-15 victory at Wildcat Stadium.

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