The Astronaut War Eagles defense bent but didn’t break as their offense scored 10 points in the span of six seconds for a 23-13 win over the Mount Dora Hurricanes on Friday night.
With the score tied 13-13 going into the second half, Mount Dora’s offense drove the length of the field for most of the third and fourth quarters but the Hurricanes were unable to come away with points.
Astronaut finally got the big play they needed with five minutes left in regulation, as a 43-yard run by Tez Keels moved the War Eagles to the Mount Dora 25-yard line. The run set up a 30-yard field goal by sophomore Tristan Schultheis with 1:30 left to give Astronaut the lead.
The War Eagles were not done as they forced a turnover on the ensuing kickoff and a personal foul penalty set them up for a 12-yard TD run by Keels with 1:34 to seal the deal.
Brandon Wright gave Astronaut the lead in the first quarter with a one-yard touchdown run after the War Eagles were set up with great field position, thanks to a botched punt attempt.
Mount Dora took the lead in the second quarter as they scored 13 points in the span of 29 seconds.
KEY PLAYERS: To go along with his two big runs of the night, Keels also had a 71-yard interception return for a touchdown that tied the game up at 13-13 going into the half. Keels finished with 66 rushing yards on just five carries, while Brandon Wright added 50 yards on the ground.
For Mount Dora, quarterback Bryant Mosher threw for 126 yards and a touchdown.
THEY SAID IT: “We told the kids that this (Mount Dora) is a playoff-type team that we are going to see in the playoffs if we are lucky enough in the district that we’re in to get to the playoffs,” Astronaut head coach Randy Hallock said.
“We were basically trying to run the clock as much as we could,” Hallock said of Keels’ 43-yard run. “We put a big set in there and ran right at them and we broke one to seal the game at that point.”
WHAT’S NEXT: Next week, Astronaut will host the St. Cloud Bulldogs from Class 7A.
RECORDS: Astronaut 1-0; Mount Dora 0-1.