Keller @ Northwest

Keller @ Northwest

Matt Harris

Staff Writer

Coach Carl Stralow’s fourth season as the head man at Keller High School will come to a close on Friday night in a road game against Northwest. The Indians playoff hopes were crushed with a hard fought 48-41 loss at the hands of Fossil Ridge. But even though Keller does not have a chance to make the playoffs, it will still have something to play for on Friday night as Coach Stralow goes for his 6th win on the season. A win against Northwest would give Stralow his winningest season at Keller thus far. The Texan offense has not been good which bodes well for a reeling Keller defense that just gave up 11 yards per carry to Ridge running back Anthony Smith last week.

The Offense:

The Keller coaching staff finally gave us what we wanted last week and pulled out all the stops on offense in an effort to make the playoffs. In a game that saw Keller try and succeed at a fake punt, onside kick, and a hook and ladder play, we finally saw the urgent kind of play we had hoped to see earlier on. The offense showed us it was capable of putting up 40 points without Caleb Griffin. And heading into the last game of the year we expect that the offense will hum along and look truly confident for the first time since Griffin went down. Tyler Tutt had yet another explosive game last week and receiver Dillion Smith caught a 90 yard touchdown pass. Facing a Texan defense that has yielded 34 points per game on average, Keller should have no problems moving the ball. Meanwhile Northwest is scoring a paltry 18 points per game on average. That pales in comparison to last years offensive output and it is clear that the Texans are desperately missing former QB Jesse Drummer. New QB Hunter Johnson has only completed 56% of his passes on the year and has thrown 13 touchdowns to a gut-wrenching 11 interceptions. Hopefully the Keller secondary that has so much senior talent will be able to feast on Johnson’s mistakes.

The Defense:

The Indian defense collapsed last week against a strong Ridge running game and allowed 300 yards rushing to Anthony Smith alone. The good news is, Northwest has no real threat out of the backfield. The Texans’ leading rusher is QB Johnson and he is only averaging a dismal three yards per rush. With no true facet of the Texan offense looking real threatening, this will hopefully be a confidence boosting week for the Indian defense heading into next year. Northwest has allowed 34 points per game on defense, around the same total as Keller. The Texan defense is also allowing 404 yards per game which is not outstanding either. With a defense that looks strikingly similar to that of Keller and the Indian offense coming off of its best performance since week 5 against Denton Guyer, look for the Northwest defense to struggle almost as mightily as its offense.

The Prediction:

With a team that has talented senior starters all over the roster playing in their last high school game, we fully expect Keller to go all out. Especially because this senior class were freshmen when Stralow took over. This is the first group to go through Keller entirely under the Stralow era. These seniors helped change the culture and helped to transform a 3-7 team into playoff contenders and Stralow will look to get the seniors a nice ovation in their final game. Meanwhile a 1-8 Northwest team will look to finish its season with a bang and a statement win. This should be a very emotionally charged game but in the end the experience and talent of a seasoned Keller squad will be way too much for the 1-8 Texans to handle. Tyler Tutt will have an enormous game and we believe that Dillion Smith and Connor Killian will have a big impact on offense as well. These seniors will play their hearts out and Keller will win 42-13.