The North Belton Middle School 8A Tigers played the Travis Science Academy 8A Mustangs at Temple’s Woodson Field on Tuesday night.
In a wild game that saw North lose key players, such as Jack Tabat, Tristan Robin, and Slade LeBlanc at various points in the game, Travis managed to hold on for a 42-32 win over the Tigers.
The Tigers struck first, as LeBlanc raced 97 yards for a North Belton kickoff return score. He booted the two-point conversion to put the Tigers up by eight points, just 15 seconds into the contest.
Travis answered with 85-yard drive and capped it with a three-yard touchdown run. The two-point kick tied the game with 4:17 to play in the first quarter.
Isaiah Devasure recovered a pooch kick attempt at the Tigers’ 40 and set North up for their next drive. LeBlanc’s 15-yard pass to Jayden Leeza set up an option pitch to Robin for a 35-yard touchdown run. LeBlanc’s two-point boot was true to give the Tigers a 16-8 lead with 3:02 to play in the first quarter.
Travis counterpunched with a 75-yard drive, capped with a two-yard run. However, the two-point kick was blocked to keep the Tigers in the lead with 18.7 seconds left in the quarter, 16-14.
After the Tigers were stopped on downs, Travis answered the bell with a 30-yard touchdown pass on a fourth down and 13 play. The two-point conversion made the score 22-16 with 4:41 left in the first half.
Travis increased their lead to 14 points via a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown and two-point kick with 3:17 to go in the half.
North answered the score, on a pair of 34-yard plays. LeBlanc hit a diving Leeza at the Travis 34 and Connor Vybiral in the end zone for the touchdown. LeBlanc’s two-point kick made the score 30-24 in favor of Travis.
The Mustangs scored on their opening drive of the second half, scoring on a two-yard run. The two-point kick was blocked, which kept the Tigers’ deficit at 12 points with 3:26 left in the third quarter, 36-24.
A muffed North Belton kick was recovered by Travis. Six plays later, they scored on a three-yard run. The two-point kick failed, but the Mustangs kept a 42-24 advantage with 27 seconds left in the third quarter.
Robin was injured on the next drive, as Slade’s 38-yard run set up his seven-yard touchdown run. He booted the two-point kick to narrow the Tigers’ deficit to 10 points with 6:07 remaining in the game, 42-32.
The Tigers held the Mustangs on downs with 2:23 to play. LeBlanc gained 15 yards on the first play but was injured on an eight-yard run. Connor Crews took over, was unable to move the ball and Travis recovered a fumble to end the ball game.
The Tigers ended the season 8-1.