The Temple Wildcats, ranked No.7 in the Class 5A Associated Press poll opened the season on Friday night with a come from behind 35-28 victory over the visiting Round Rock Dragons in large part by a game changing play by Travell Latouche midway in the third quarter.
With the Wildcats trailing 21-14 midway in the third quarter, Temple’s Latouche blitzed into the Round Rock backfield on third and goal at the Temple 8 yard line, pressuring quarterback Collin Hinson. As Henson attempted to release the ball, Latouche batted the ball into the air and caught his own deflection. With his speed and help blocking, Latouche raced 82 yards to pull the Wildcats into a 21-21 tie after Cole Martin’s extra point to tie the game at 21-21 with 6:21 left in the third quarter. That play would sway the games momentum in the direction of the Wildcats for the remainder of the quarter.
Temple would take the lead three minutes later as quarterback Chad President hit Tyler Hannon with a sideline pass at the Dragon 47 and with a crushing block from Davion Curtis, Hannon went 50 yards down the home sideline to give the Wildcats a 28-21 lead with 3:20 left in the third quarter.
Round Rock battled back to tie the game once again in the fourth quarter at the 5:35 mark with a Josh Webber 6-yard TD run.
Temple answered quickly on the strength of a Jeff Carr 51 yard run that put the Cats in position to strike on a President 10-yd TD run up the middle to give Temple final margin of victory 35-28 with 3:27 left.
Round Rock would have one more chance but good pressure from the Temple defensive line would keep Dragon quarterback Hinson under fire and Hinson’s third and long desperation heave was batted down senior Clint Cole forcing the Round Rock to punt the ball back to Temple with 1:40 left in the game.
Round Rock with three timeouts left hoped to get the ball back first down followed by a spectacular 42-yard scamper by President down to the Dragon 1-yard line sealed the Wildcat victory as President kneeled the ball on the next play to run out the clock.
Carr had an outstanding night for the Wildcats as he carried the ball 20 times for 210 yards and one touchdown. The lone touchdown showcased Carr’s outstanding speed as he put Temple on the board early 7-0 with a 65-yard TD run at the 10:12 mark in the first quarter.
Temple sputtered to get things going offensively for the most part early even with the early strike and Round Rock took advantage and took the lead 13-7 by the end of the first.
Temple used a little trickery to regain the lead early in the second as Presidents lateral pass to Hannon led to Hannon finding a wide open Curtis for 33-yd TD strike and a 14-13 Temple lead.
Hannon had a overall good night as he collected 7 receptions for 85-yards and a TD while throwing for a 33-yard TD pass.
Senior Chad President playing in his first game since being injured in last season’s third game of the year was 13-27 passing for 146 yards and 118 yards on the ground. Curtis had a pair of catches for 45 yards and Aaron Freeman a pair of crucial drive extending catches for 26 yards.
The victory for Temple Friday night was Head Coach Mike Spradlin’s 100th career coaching victory.
Temple will now travel to Austin next Friday night to play state power Austin Westlake. Westlake opened their own season on Friday night with a 17-14 loss to another state power Southlake Carroll.