Stony Point faced a stiff challenge on Friday, September 29 when they traveled to Dragon Stadium to take on their cross-town rival, the Round Rock Dragons.
It was a tough game from the get-go for the Tigers. Round Rock took their opening possession and drove methodically down the field to open the scoring with a 4-yard touchdown run that capped off a 10 play, 63-yard drive. The drive was punctuated by several good runs from the Dragons that would portend things to come as the Tigers gave up 286 rushing yards to the Dragons on the evening.
A good kick return by Senior Defensive Back Shane Werner to the 41-yard line set the Tigers up to answer. However, Stony Point was unable to capitalize on the good field position. A bad snap on first down set Stony Point back. On second down Sophomore Quarterback Kinnick Kalbus lost control of the ball while scrambling, fumbling it away to Round Rock on the 23 yard line. The Dragons would not let that opportunity slip away and scored immediately on a rush around the right end to go up 14-0, barely 6 minutes into the game.
Stony Point took over with good field position once again after Round Rock kicked the ball out of bounds. The Tigers put together a good drive including some nifty runs from Kalbus and Junior Wide Receiver Andrew Gomez. Despite some promising plays, the drive stalled at the Round Rock 25 and ended with no points when Junior Kicker Noah Lopez’s field goal attempt sailed wide left.
The next Dragon possession saw them move all the way down to the Stony Point 3 yard line on 9 consecutive rushing plays. The Stony Point defense stiffened as Round Rock approached the goal line, and on a crucial 4th and goal from the 3, Senior Lineback Hunter Alvarado gobbled up the Round Rock running back to give the ball back to the offense.
The Tiger offense took over on their own 5-yard line and put together a nice drive. The combined rushing of Kalbus, Senior Running Back Amonte Gentry, and Sophomore Running Back Xavier Hill powered much of the drive that also featured a 10-yard reception by Gomez on a 4th and 7 play. After moving the ball all the way to the Dragon 33 yard line, it looked like the Tigers were prepared to close the gap, but disaster would strike again for the Tigers when Kalbus’s 3rd down pass found it’s way into the waiting hands of a Dragon defender.
With only 1:07 left in the first half, Round Rock took over on their own 24-yard line. After picking up one first down, the Dragon quarterback threw 3 incomplete passes and Stony Point was poised to regain possession with about 30 seconds remaing on the clock. It was not to be however. Round Rock elected to go for it on 4th down from their own 35-yard line. A 45-yard heave from the Dragon quarterback found its mark and Round Rock suddenly found themselves knocking on the door again. With 22 seconds left, the Round Rock Quarterback took the snap and finished the drive on his own by scrambling 20 yards before diving into the end zone and making the score 21-0 at halftime.
Coming out of halftime, the Tiger offense showed resilience and provided some excitement to the visiting fans. After receiving the second half kickoff, Stony Point moved the ball quickly down the field and had a 1st-and-Goal from the Dragon 5-yard line. The Dragon defense tightened and after losing yardage on 2nd and 3rd down, the Tigers were forced to settle for a 36-yard field goal attempt. Sadly, the string of devastating miscues continued when the attempt was blocked and grabbed in the air by a Dragon defender who took it 84-yards to the end zone. The return made the score 28-0 and would be the last points put on the board by either team.
Despite allowing the Dragons to move the ball well in the second half, the Stony Point defense did a good job of bending but not breaking. Round Rock was held scoreless on two red-zone possessions, but the damage had already been done. The Dragon offense dominated the time of possession in the second half, going on two long drives that ate up huge amounts of clock. The Tiger offense was unable to muster any points to put the game back in doubt despite one more foray inside the Round Rock 10-yard line.
Although the game didn’t end in the desired outcome, the Tigers learned valuable lessons about ball security and focus that will serve them well the rest of the season. With the toughest stretch of the season behind them, Stony Point will look to rebound when they face off against Cedar Ridge on Friday, October 6 at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex.