KOUNTZE - The Anderson- Shiro Fighting Owls used an early scoring barrage, an overwhelming running game and solid defensive play to overcome close calls and notch their first district win, 26-14, over the Kountze Lions.
The Owls (5-0, 1-0) overcame a hostile environment with several factors going against them to hand Kountze (2-3, 0-1) their first home loss on the season.
Anderson-Shiro Quarterback Connor Daley got the scoring started by throwing a laser to Pierce Goodwin for a 39-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter. Jarvis Haynes powered up the middle for the conversion to give the Owls an 8-0 lead.
Haynes continued his rushing ways a few minutes later with a 60-yard scamper down the right side to add to the Owl lead. The Owls added two more scores in the half. Kagan Stephens hauled in a pass from Daley and ran 55 yards for a score early in the second quarter. Ta’Colby Calhoun made a terrific spin move out of a would be tackle and raced down the Owl sideline for a score with less than a minute left in the half. The Owls went into the locker room leading 26-0.
The Owls leaned heavily on their solid defense and running game to chew up the clock in the second half. Kountze continued to battle and finally broke through with a long play. It appeared several Owl and Lion players thought the runner was down by contact, but the play wasn’t blown dead and he scampered into the endzone after the confusion.
The point after attempt was good and they cut the Owl lead down to 26-7.
Anderson-Shiro continued to grind eating large chunks of time off the clock. Daley fumbled the ball as he was hit from behind in the fourth quarter on a pass attempt. The Lions picked it up for a scoop and score, their final score of the game. With a 26-14 lead, the fighting Owl Defense took over and stepped up big to seal the win with a big interception by Calhoun. The Owl offense ran out the clock.
“We have not faced much adversity this season,” said Anderson-Shiro Head Coach Brad Hodges. “The second half was a good test for us. It was good to get that experience and come away with a solid, double digit district road win against a solid team like Kountze. I was proud of how our guys dug in late and played hard.”
The Owls face perennial state powerhouse and district foe, the #6 Newton Eagles, Sept. 29, in Anderson.
“Newton is talented year in and year out,” said Hodges. “They are ranked highly again this year. It is going to be a great environment Friday night. We expect a capacity crowd in the stands and on the hill. We need Owl Nation to show up and be loud.”
Both teams come into the district contest undefeated. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. As always, if you cannot be at Fighting Owl Stadium, you can follow along for live scoring updates and short videos on the Navasota Examiner Sports Facebook page.
If necessary Anderson- Shiro CISD will share parking updates with The Examiner throughout the week prior to the game.