Homecoming Heartbreak

Dragons lose a homecoming thriller in the final seconds


Photo courtesy of Hope Hosgood

Running back Marquis Brown powers in a touchdown with four minutes left in the fourth quarter

The Dragons played in their toughest game of the season on Oct. 5 against Vandegrift. It was a match of heavyweight football teams throwing haymakers back and forth throughout the game. Both teams were held to their lowest point total all season, but that did not keep the Dragon’s homecoming game from being an instant classic. Round Rock took the ultimate fight to the Vipers, but fell short in the final seconds 27-24.

The Vandegrift Vipers were as good as advertised. The Vipers received the ball first, driving down the field with ease, but the Dragon defense stepped up big when cornerback Trey King deflected a pass in the endzone forcing Vandegrift to kick a field goal. Round Rock quickly countered with a 60 yard pass from Seth Ford to Collin Sullivan setting the Dragons up inside their own redzone. Running back Marquis Brown punched the ball in from six yards out to give Round Rock the lead 7-3.

Defense was of the essence when it came to the Dragon’s Homecoming game. Explosive offenses were gone, now replaced by hard-hitting smash-mouth defense. The Dragons held Vandegrift, the 29th ranked team in the state to 17 first half points. Round Rock also forced the Vipers to kick two field goals in the red zone.

Between quarterback Ryan O’Keefe, running back Marquis Brown, and the stellar performance of the defense, the Dragons ran stride for stride with Vandegrift. Round Rock was only down by one touchdown at the half, 17-10.

The Rock defense was a brick wall in the third quarter keeping the Vandegrift offense at bay with zero points. On the other side of the ball, Ryan O’Keefe and Marquis Brown led the Dragons down the field scoring the sole touchdown of the third quarter when Marquis Brown punched the ball into the endzone from two yards out tying the game at 17 all.

The fourth quarter was one for the books. Both Round Rock and Vandegrift were at the top of their game. Again, the Round Rock defense was magnificent holding the Vipers to a field goal, and giving the ball back to the Ryan O’Keefe and the explosive Dragon offense with a little over 10 minutes left. Round Rock embarked on one of the most incredible drives of the season. Round Rock drove 85 yards, taking a little over five minutes before Marquis Brown found the endzone giving the Dragons only their second lead of the night. The Vipers got the ball back with four minutes left and 80 yards between them and another district win. Quarterback Dru Dawson converted three fourth down plays before running back Isaiah Smallwood put the dagger in the Dragon’s heart when he ran the ball in from one yard out on fourth and goal with 40 seconds left.