It only took a few seconds for Tyler O’Bannon to realize the potential of his game-breaking play..
In the middle of the third quarter, he caught an Ellison punt, ran 5 yards to the right, cut, found his blocks, and raced 82 yards for a score.
“I was just excited. I had to do it. I did it for the team,” said O’Bannon.
That wasn’t the first time Stony Point (2-0) scored on a special teams play in a 42-23 win over Killeen Ellison (1-1) at Reeves Athletic Complex. Earlier in the third quarter, Anthony Sims scooped up a blocked punt in the end zone that gave the Tigers a 35-10 lead. To cap the quarter, Ellison’s Tye Hill returned a kickoff 91 yards for a score as well for a third special-teams touchdown in the period.
Stony Point prevailed, but it wasn’t exactly a clean game. The Tigers racked up a whopping 15 penalties, costing them 160 yards over the course of the game. Some of those calls were more than a little controversial, according to head coach Craig Chessher.
“Other than a good football game that we won, it’s very frustrating,” said Chessher. “We’re going to look at the tape and make sure, but I feel like. … anyway. Very frustrated for our guys, to make so many mistakes and still come away with a victory, but we made a lot of mistakes in game one and we still have mistakes to iron out, and if we don’t get ‘em ironed out, it’s going to cost us a game down the line.”
The penalties were not a high point of the game, but Chessher’s offense was. The Tigers scored on three touchdown passes and punched in a rushing touchdown. Four Stony Point players both caught at least one pass and had one rush on the night.
“I kind of knew we had a little bit of depth,” said Chessher. “I use that word sparingly, but we have kids that can catch the football; we don’t just have to rely on one or two guys.”
The Tigers ran for 203 yards on 28 carries as a team, with senior running back Tyler Cleveland carrying the bulk of the load with 92 yards. Kendall Thomas added 64 yards on 10 carries.
The road doesn’t get easier from here for Stony Point, but that’s still in the future.
“I’m going to try to enjoy it and worry about the next game when we get there,” said Chessher.
The Tigers will host the Belton Tigers next week.