AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN:  Built Ford tough, Round Rock escapes with OT win over Tigers

AUSTIN AMERICAN STATESMAN: Built Ford tough, Round Rock escapes with OT win over Tigers

By Rick Cantu
Posted Oct 18, 2019 at 10:55 PM

ROUND ROCK — In his first season as quarterback for the Round Rock football team, Seth Ford enjoyed his finest hour.

After picking Stony Point’s defense apart with pinpoint passing, the Dragon junior used his legs when it mattered most. His seven-yard touchdown run around right end in overtime propelled his team to a 34-31 victory over the Tigers in a key District 13-6A thrill Friday night at Kelly Reeves Stadium.

Ford was the game’s key player, passing for 232 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 42 yards. Round Rock (6-1, 4-1) is tied for second place with Stony Point (6-1, 4-1) with three games to play.

Round Rock had one of the most talented quarterbacks in Central Texas last year, but Ryan O’Keefe graduated and took his game to Central Florida. Ford, though, has been nothing short of brilliant this year as his successor, completing 14 touchdown passes with no interceptions.

“He’d have started for us last year if we didn’t have Ryan,” said coach Jeff Cheatham, who said his team’s defense has been the most improved unit.

After Stony Point rallied with two late touchdowns to send the game into OT, Round Rock’s defense held the Tigers to a 38-yard field goal by Alan Rivera-Salazar in the extra period. That’s when Ford and bullish running back Israel Morgan went to work. Morgan pounded the middle for 4, 8 and 6 yards in overtime to set up Ford’s game-winning keeper.

“That play had been working the whole game,” Ford said. “I told my offensive coach (Chase Tenney) to run that play and we got a great result. We executed well.”

Stony Point trailed 28-14 midway through the fourth quarter but rallied with a pair of touchdowns to tie the game and send it into overtime. No one played any harder than running back Kendall Thomas, who rushed for 168 yards and threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Caezar Williams with 3 minutes to play to help send the game into overtime.

Round Rock had chances to pull away but three fumbles and 71 yards in penalties hurt their cause. “We kept shooting ourselves in the foot,” Cheatham said.

Ford said it was a “great team win” because Stony Point is such a good team, too.

“They came in here with all the confidence in the world,” he said. “We took some punches but stayed resilient. To win a game like this is an amazing feeling.”

Round Rock, 7-5 last year, appears to be better this year.

“We love being the underdogs and having a chip on our shoulders,” Ford added.

Round Rock carried a 21-14 lead at the break on the strength of two late touchdowns in the second quarter. Ford Connected with Collin Sullivan on an 11-yard touchdown pass and Morgan capped the first-half scoring with a 3-yard plunge.

Stony Point, meanwhile, kept feeding the football to Thomas, who rushed for 117 yards and both Tiger touchdowns. Thomas has broken 100 yards rushing in all seven Stony Point games this fall.

Round Rock continues its 13-6A schedule next Friday against Cedar Ridge. Stony Point has a district game Thursday against McNeil.

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