AUSTIN (KXAN) — Pflugerville gave the No. 10 Belton Tigers all they could handle but the Panthers fell short of their first win of the season 36-19 in 5A-District 11 play Thursday at The Pfield.
The Panthers cut Belton’s lead to 21-19 with 8:34 left in the game on a Kyren McFrazier 29-yard touchdown catch from Cole Taylor, but the Tigers scored twice in the final 1:18 which included an 85-yard touchdown on an interception return by Alton McCallum.
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While out of context it looks like Belton was rubbing it in a little bit, the Tigers going for two after the interception return makes sense when the district’s tiebreaker rules are factored in. There’s a point differential system used to break ties for playoff positioning, and it’s capped at 17 points per game. Belton wanted to get the full complement of points for a potential tiebreaker advantage when the regular season ends, so they went for a conversion and got it with no time left on the clock.
The game opened up a little bit in the second half after the teams slugged it out defensively before halftime. Belton carried a slim 14-13 lead into the break following an 87-yard touchdown dash by Pflugerville’s Rhyder Miller with 3:21 left in the half. The Panthers, however, just couldn’t get the big play on offense they needed to topple the Tigers.
With 1:18 left in the game, Belton quarterback Reese Rumfield executed a playaction pass to perfection, faking the handoff to the running back and then zipping a pass to a wide-open Diego Coleman for a 21-yard score on 4th-and-3. The extra point made the score 28-19 Belton at that point.
Taylor hit McFrazier for the Panthers’ first touchdown of the game, a 19-yard pass play with 4:54 left in the second quarter.
Pflugerville (0-5, 0-1) heads to Killeen to take on Chaparral in a district game at 7 p.m., Sept. 28. Belton (5-0, 1-0) remains undefeated and will play Elgin at home at 7 p.m., Sept. 29.
FINAL: Belton 36, Pflugerville 19. The Panthers hung with the 10th-ranked Tigers throughout the entire game and gave it a good shot. This was closer than the final score indicates.
0:00 4Q: TOUCHDOWN BELTON: Pflugerville tosses a final pass and Belton’s Alton McCallum intercepts it and returns it for an 85-yard touchdown. 2-point conversion is good, and you’re probably wondering why Belton did that. The point differential tiebreaker for playoff positioning is capped at 17 points, so Belton wanted the full complement of tiebreaker points. Tigers 36, Pflugerville 19
1:18 4Q: TOUCHDOWN BELTON: The Tigers put it away with a terrific play-fake by Rumfield, and he hits Coleman for another touchdown, this one from 21 yards on 4th-and-3. What a play call. PAT good. Tigers 28, Panthers 19
4:05 4Q: Taylor’s pass on 4th-and-7 doesn’t have enough mustard on it and it’s incomplete. Belton came with a heavy rush to help force the turnover on downs.
8:34 4Q: TOUCHDOWN PFLUGERVILLE: Taylor finds McFrazier again and he’s more open than a 7-Eleven store for a 29-yard score. The 2-point conversion failed, so Belton still leads. Tigers 21, Panthers 19.
End 3Q: Belton 21, Pflugerville 13. We’re headed to the 4Q with a one-possession game. Belton punts for the last play of the quarter, and it’s a low line drive that drills a Pflugerville player, but the Panthers are able to fall on the ball. Wild.
6:20 3Q: TOUCHDOWN BELTON: On 4th-and-goal from the 3-yard line, Rumfield hits Diego Coleman on a shallow out route, and then he powers through a Panthers defender to push into the end zone. PAT goes off the left upright and through. What a journey that kick went on. Tigers 21, Panthers 13
Halftime: Belton 14, Pflugerville 13. Things starting to get wild at The Pfield and the Panthers will get the ball to begin the second half. Pflugerville came on late in the second quarter to get back in the thick of it with a pair of touchdowns against the No. 10 Tigers.
3:21 2Q: TOUCHDOWN PFLUGERVILLE: Holy moly, what a run by Rhyder Miller! He busts through the line and breaks a couple of tackles for an 87-yard touchdown run to cut into Belton’s lead in a big way. Miller just blew by everybody. PAT good. Tigers 14, Panthers 13
4:54 2Q: TOUCHDOWN PFLUGERVILLE: Penalty shmenalty. Cole Taylor hits Kyran McFrazier after the big penalty for a 19-yard score. PAT no good. Tigers 14, Panthers 6
5:00 2Q: Pflugerville finally gets some offense going and strings together a few nice plays, but a holding penalty turns 3rd-and-1 into 3rd-and-11 from the Belton 19-yard line
8:38 2Q: TOUCHDOWN BELTON: Shaun Snapp reels in the screen pass, and the 225-pounder rumbles 22 yards for a touchdown. The play came after two penalties on the Tigers, a 5-yard procedure and then a 15-yarder for unsportsmanlike conduct on the head coach, to turn 1st-and-goal from the 2 to 1st-and-goal from the 22. Didn’t matter, clearly. PAT good. Tigers 14, Panthers 0
9:25 2Q: Rumfield rips off another huge run that sets up the Tigers at the Panthers’ 27-yard line
End 1Q: Belton 7, Pflugerville 0. The Panthers are hanging in with the No. 10 team in 5A-D2 and have allowed just the one explosive play that Belton scored on.
1:19 1Q: TOUCHDOWN BELTON: Reese Rumfield keeps it on the option and he dashes 51 yards for the opening marker of the game. PAT good. Tigers 7, Panthers 0
1:57 1Q: Pflugerville’s offense hasn’t been able to get a first down in three possessions. Belton only has one first down. Defenses are just slugging it out right now.
4:55 1Q: Pflugerville’s Donovan Wright cleans up and hammers Belton QB Reese Rumfield for a huge loss on 3rd and 10. The Tigers, you guessed it, have to punt it away.
8:06 1Q: It has been a punt-fest so far with every drive ending with each team booting it away. The Panthers have to get rid of it but a nice punt sets Belton at their own 18-yard line.
10:00 1Q: Pflugerville had it for all of 43 seconds before they had to punt. Gained two yards on 1st down and then not a thing for the Panthers. Belton takes over on its own 25-yard line
10:43 1Q: The Panthers force Belton to punt and they’ll start their first drive with good field position at their own 45-yard line
12:00 1Q: Pflugerville wins the toss and defers its choice to the second half, so Belton’s offense will get the ball first.