Panthers Tame Dragons

Oak varsity heads to Round 3 after double overtime win


Ben Stewart

With a hard-fought battle under their belts, junior running back Kendal Taylor hoists up the victory cup as other players like senior tackle Kelvin Scott celebrate. Taylor scored six touchdowns to help edge out the Round Rock Dragons and advance the Panthers to Round 3 against Waco Midway on Sat., Dec. 1. Taylor was also named Boys Athlete of the Week by the Houston Chronicle for his outstanding efforts.

In a nail-biting, double overtime victory, the Panthers took on a 7-4 Round Rock Dragons football team last Saturday and came out on top 66-59 in an exciting thriller.

The Dragons took the lead early in the first quarter with a long run touchdown followed by a short run for seven more points, both by their quarterback, senior and three-year starter, Ryan O’Keefe.

Oak quarterback, junior Montrell Bolton answered the Rock touchdown with a TD pass of his own to senior wide receiver Tyler Hudson.

Despite the Panther TD and a field goal, it was not enough to put KO on top at the end of the first quarter, leaving the hometown boys trailing 10-24.

Like a heated championship tennis match, the scores in the second quarter volleyed back and forth between the two teams, but at the end of the 1st half, the Dragons headed to the locker room keeping their lead, 24-34.

“During halftime of the Round Rock game, we didn’t feel down, but we were positive and talking to the coaches about how we could come back,” sophomore backup center Mason James said. “We were positive that we could come back and win.”

The Panther offense came out to play in the second half with a monumental 71-yard running touchdown from junior running back Kendal Taylor making it a 3-point game in the 3rd quarter.

We all knew we hadn’t lost and we were all ready to go into overtime

— senior kicker Seth Morgan

Round Rock then lengthened their small lead with a field goal making it 31-37 in the middle of the 3rd quarter but Oak was closing in.

Rallying, the Panther offense came out focused and hungry to pounce on Round Rock and steal the lead from the Dragons and that’s exactly what they did. Again, Bolton connected with Taylor for his third touchdown of the day, giving Oak the lead, 38-37.

In a quick response, the Dragons then took back the lead with a touchdown and a 2-point conversion giving them back their 7-point lead 38-45.

But with one more fight from Oak’s offense, they tied the game with a rushing touchdown from Taylor, making that his 3rd rushing touchdown and 4th overall.

Round Rock’s O’Keefe again took the lead with a rushing touchdown early in the 4th quarter putting them up 45-52.

But, Taylor’s run couldn’t be stopped and he matched the scores 52-52 with his 5th touchdown of the game with 6 minutes to go in the 4th quarter.

“It felt amazing,” Taylor said. “I just want to thank God and my line.”

As the minutes ticked down to seconds, the Panthers had one final chance to win the game with a 61-yard field goal from senior kicker Seth Morgan that went a little too wide, sending Oak and Round Rock into overtime.

“Even though I missed the long field goal, we all knew we hadn’t lost and we were all ready to go into overtime,” Morgan said. “We always tried to stay as hyped on the sidelines as possible.”

In the first overtime, Round Rock started with the ball and scored making the score 52-59.
Oak answered quickly with a 7-yard touchdown run from Taylor and sending the game into its second overtime.

This time, Oak started out with the ball and scored the game winning pass from Bolton to Hudson.

Ben Stewart
Proud of the efforts from each player on the team, Head Coach Jason Glenn went through the ranks with hugs and words of praise for them all.

The incredible game ended with the Panther defense on the field stopping the Dragons with a 4th down shut down, sending the Panthers into the 3rd round of the playoffs.

“We’ve never made it this far before and to finally do it with my friends is a great feeling,” senior defensive lineman Max Edwards said.

Edwards will be headed into the 3rd round Saturday with a different but determined smile as he chipped a few teeth in the Round Rock Battle when making a tackle after his helmet flew off.

Oak faces off against the 10-1 Waco Midway Panthers this Saturday at 3 pm at Kyle Field in College Station.