By Richard Greene
A storm rolled into Keller with 23 seconds left in the first half Thursday bringing a halt to the action for more than two hours. But the downpour that flooded the Northwest Texans’ hopes for a win began four minutes earlier.
After the Texans took a 14-3 lead in the second quarter, Keller Fossil Ridge scored 20 points in the final 4:33 before the delay to pave the way for a 37-14 victory at Keller ISD Stadium.
The loss dropped the Texans to 1-4 and 0-2 in District 7-5A.
After jumping out to the early lead, the Texans turned into their own worst enemy in the final minutes of the first half with turnovers on three straight possessions – two fumbles and an interception.
“We had three turnovers in a row in the second quarter,” said Northwest coach Bill Patterson. “You’re not going to beat anybody doing that. We also gave up four touchdown passes. We fix one problem and five more pop up.”
The first fumble came one play after Fossil Ridge drove the ball 70 yards in 11 plays for a 5-yard touchdown pass from Sheldon Neuse to Adonis Ramos to cut the Texans’ lead to four, 14-10.
Fossil Ridge used two plays to punch the ball in from 40 yards out to take a 17-10 advantage.
Three plays later, the Texans coughed the ball up again. Neuse immediately capitalized hitting Stephen Boswell with a 34-yard pass at the back of the end zone for a touchdown on the next play to put the Panthers up 23-14.
Neuse finished 20 of 26 through the air, throwing for 288 yards and four touchdowns. He threw for touchdowns of 39 and 53 yards in the second half before taking a seat early in the fourth quarter.
The Texans turned the ball over a third time before the end of the first half when Dylan Stubbe was picked off by Fossil Ridge’s Dyllan Mendez, who returned the pick 70 yards for an apparent score. A holding call wiped out the touchdown.
The storm then blew in with 23 seconds left in the half to keep Fossil Ridge from capitalizing on the turnover.
After more than a two-hour wait, the teams took the field to play the final seconds of the second quarter and the second half with no halftime.
The Texans opened the game, scoring less than a minute in on an 80-yard run by Stubbe. Stubbe ran for 138 yards before having to leave the game in the third quarter after taking numerous hard hits.
Northwest built the lead to 14-3 with 8:46 left in the first half when Michael Reed broke free for a 33-yard sprint to the end zone.
Fossil Ridge 37, Northwest 14
Northwest 7 7 0 0 – 14
Fossil Ridge 3 20 7 7 – 37
Northwest – 11:00, Dylan Stubbe 80 run; Cayden Ihrig kick
Fossil Ridge – 7:32, Andrew Hale 27 field goal
Northwest – 8:46, Michael Reed 33 run; Ihrig kick
Fossil Ridge – 4:59, Adonis Ramos 5 pass from Sheldon Neuse, Hale kick
Fossil Ridge – 4:10, Kevin Miles 2 run, Hale kick
Fossil Ridge – 2:17, Stephen Boswell 34 pass from Neuse, kick failed
Fossil Ridge – 4:33, Boswell 39 pass from Neuse, Hale kick
Fossil Ridge – 11:52, Ramos 53 pass from Neuse, Hale kick
Northwest Fossil Ridge
First Downs 10 15
Rushes-Yards 33-218 32-118
Passing Yards 44 288
Total Yards 262 406
Comp-Att-Int 6-21-2 20-27-1
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 2-2
Penalties-Yards 4-45 9-75
Punts-Average 4-37.75 4-43.5
Rushing: Northwest – Dylan Stubbe 9-138, Michael Reed 16-53, Allen Young 3-39, Dakota Chavis 3-6, Tyler Paruszewski 1-0, Team 1-(minus 8). Fossil Ridge – Sheldon Neuse 9-28, Chaylon Bowman 14-60, Kevin Miles 2-17, Jacob Gnacinski 5-10, Cedric Johnson 2-6.
Passing: Northwest – Stubbe 3-12-1-24, Paruszewski 3-9-1-20. Fossil Ridge – Neuse 20-26-1-288, Gnacinski 0-1-0-0.
Receiving: Northwest – Chase Morrison 2-18, Cody Long 3-14, Reed 1-10, Parish Smith 1-2. Fossil Ridge, Luis Ochoa 7-60, Jacob Gnacinski 3-41, Stephen Boswell 5-122, Adonis Ramos 5-79, Bowman 1-11.