Dragons fall in double overtime to Klein Oak, makes major improvements from last season

Round Rock loses out to Klein Oak in double overtime instant classic.


Photo courtesy of Jackson Pepper

Dragons get fired up before 2nd half tunnel runout.

The Dragons advanced to round two of the 6A football playoffs after defeating Cypress Woods in the first round 56-49. Round Rock traveled down to Bryan High School on Saturday, Nov. 24. to face North Houston powerhouse Klein Oak. The Dragons lost 66-59 in a two overtime thriller finishing the season 7-5, a serious improvement from last year’s record of 2-8.

Round Rock won the toss and elected to receive the ball first. Quarterback Ryan O’Keefe and running back Marquis Brown got the Dragons off to a red hot start marching down the field before punching the ball off of an O’Keefe quarterback sneak to take the early lead 7-0. The Round Rock defense held strong holding the Klein Oak offense at bay, forcing the Panthers to kick a field goal. Round Rock got the ball back and continued on their scoring rampage. O’Keefe and Brown led a poised rushing attack down the field ending with a 27 yard rushing touchdown from Ryan putting the Dragons up 14-3 with five minutes left in the first quarter.

Shortly after, Klein Oak quarterback Montrell Bolton and running back Kendal Taylor answered with a quick two minute drive that ended with a 12 yard pass to Rodney Hudson for a touchdown closing the gap 14-10. O’Keefe countered Bolton with a quick strike of his own. Behind Ryan’s running ability, Round Rock scored off a four yard touchdown run from O’Keefe himself increasing the Dragon lead to 21-14.

The first quarter was an explosion of scoring, and the second quarter was no different. Bolton and O’Keefe threw haymakers back and forth, but Round Rock got the last laugh in the first half when Garrett Miller scooped up a fumble and gave O’Keefe and the offense the ball back with a little over a minute left in the first half. Round Rock coaching staff went to their playbook for the final drive of the game. With the ball on Panther’s 40 yard line, Ryan O’Keefe took a shotgun snap before throwing to Jordan Smart on a right side screen pass, but Round Rock had more in mind with this play. Instead of being a traditional screen pass, Smart threw the ball back across the field to O’Keefe with blockers in front of him. Ryan turned on the jets before streaking down the sideline for a 70 yard touchdown giving the Dragons the lead 34-24 with only seconds remaining in the first half.

“When we ran into the locker room at halftime, we were not satisfied with our performance,” senior Brown said. “We did not want to take our foot off the gas pedal.”

Halftime proved invaluable for both teams allowing them to make necessary adjustments for the second half. Both teams had to turn to new players in the third quarter after a lot of halftime adjustments both on offense and defense. Round Rock’s unsung heroes of the second half were Jordan Smart and Garrett Miller. Smart punched in a key touchdown in the third quarter putting the Dragons up 45-38 after Klein Oak had taken the one point lead over Round Rock 38-37. Garrett Miller was a force on both sides of the ball, playing both wide receiver and defensive lineman. Miller helped the Dragons keep several drives alive with key third down catches while on the other side of the ball, he stonewalled the Klein Oak rushing attack.

As the game dwindled on and the sun began to set, Round Rock and Klein Oak continued to battle until the final seconds. In the final minutes of Ryan O’Keefe and Marquis Brown’s high school careers, they were at the top of their game. Between the rushing attack of both players, the Dragons scored one final touchdown in regulation off of a Ryan O’Keefe touchdown run from four yards out giving Round Rock the lead 52-45. Klein Oak, behind the arm of Montrell Bolton matched the Dragons for one final touchdown evening the score at 52 all with no time left.

Overtime was the deciding factor in the game. Round Rock received the ball first, scoring with ease off of a four yard Marquis Brown touchdown run.

“When we got to overtime our game plan for scoring did not change,” Brown said. “We viewed overtime as another day at the office.”

Klein Oak answered almost immediately with a score of their own knotting the game at 58 all sending the game to a second overtime period. The second overtime proved to be too much for Round Rock as Klein Oak scored first, and then stopped the Dragons on a fourth and two from the six yard line to seal the win.

Round Rock’s season was officially over. The Dragons finished the year on the edge of being area champs, a sight they had missed the previous year. Round Rock won five more games than last year thanks to the tremendous play of UCF commit Ryan O’Keefe and Marquis Brown. The defense grew over the year and bonded after defensive line coach William Roberts passed away in the middle of the season. Both the offense and defense have serious upside for the 2019 season which could showcase a Dragon team that makes a deep playoff run.