DISTRICT 12-6A FOOTBALL PREVIEW CAPSULE: Killeen Shoemaker (6-2, 4-2) at Belton (3-5, 3-2)
By GREG WILLE
– DISTRICT 12-6A –
KILLEEN SHOEMAKER (6-2, 4-2) at BELTON TIGERS (3-5, 3-2)
7:30 p.m. Friday, Tiger Field
Last week: Temple 27, Shoemaker 24; Belton 56, Killeen Ellison 33
Last year: Shoemaker 42, Belton 23
Game notes: Temple has clinched the outright District 12-6A championship at 6-0, but the battle for the league's other three playoff berths and postseason seedings continues and tonight's Belton-Shoemaker clash packs plenty of importance. Coach Toby Foreman's Grey Wolves will clinch no worse than a share of second place with a win tonight in their regular-season finale, while the Tigers of first-year coach Brett Sniffin still can finish 5-2 and no worse than tied for second if they defeat Shoemaker and then beat Harker Heights at home next Thursday in a game that could determine 12-6A's final postseason berth. Heights beat Copperas Cove 42-20 on Friday afternoon to improve to 4-2 in district. Bryan was tied with Shoemaker and Heights for second entering the Vikings' Friday night game at Killeen Ellison. . . . Belton went almost a month between its 26-14 win over Copperas Cove and its 23-point home victory against Ellison last Friday. In between, the Tigers lost 34-33 at Bryan and because of COVID-19 cases and related quarantines had to postpone their home game vs. Heights and cancel their Nov. 13 rivalry game at Temple. . . . Senior quarterback Ruben Jimenez drives Belton's offense with 1,297 passing yards and 11 touchdowns and 532 rushing yards and nine TDs, while senior workhorse Maurice Reed has rushed for 948 yards and eight TDs. . . . Senior receiver Kanyn Utley and junior tight end Bryan “Itty” Henry have 30 receptions each and have a combined 902 yards ans six touchdowns. . . . The leading tacklers for the Tigers' defense are senior linebacker Joe Sniffin with 52 stops and junior safety Aaron Bain (two interceptions) with 45. . . . After getting off to a 6-0 start, Shoemaker has seen its progress slowed by a 51-50 overtime loss to Harker Heights and a three-point defeat in last Thursday's high-stakes showdown against Temple, clinching the outright league title for the Wildcats. The Grey Wolves can secure their second straight playoff berth by beating Belton. . . . Devin Brown leads Shoemaker's offense with 950 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns, while QB Ty Bell has passed for 1,561 yards and 19 TDs. Speedy receiver Monaray Baldwin is Bell's top target, with 36 catches for 699 yards and 10 touchdowns. . . . Linebacker Za'Veon Cummings has a team-high 84 tackles for a Shoemaker defense that limited Temple to a season-low 75 passing yards but allowed the Wildcats to rush for 328 yards and three touchdowns.