8th grade longhorns

The eighth grade Longhorn offensive line blocks for quarterback Aaron Hartman (5) and running backs Thomas Keener (36) and Landon Taplin (32) in Tuesday’s game against Marysville. Shown from left are Devin Alvarez (58), Tyler Holloway (66), Kellen Peery (62) and Paden Meyer (70)

The eighth grade Abilene Longhorns wrapped its 2020 football season with a 42-20 victory over NCKL foe Marysville Tuesday evening in Abilene.

The Longhorns finished the season 4-1, winners of their last four games.

“What a great way to end the season,” Abilene head coach Mark Willey said.

Marysville returned the opening kickoff for a quick 6-0 lead to begin the contest. But Abilene responded with two first quarter scores of their own to take a 16-6 advantage into the second period.

Running back Weston Rock bolted for 35 yards and then ran the two-point conversion to give Abilene an 8-6 lead early in the quarter. Rock then broke away from all defenders on a 90-yard gallop down the left sideline for the Longhorns next score. Quarterback Aaron Hartman tossed the conversion pass to Cole Veal for the 16-6 lead.

The Longhorns added two scores in the second period as Landon Taplin broke tackles on his way for a 35-yard score to give Abilene a 22-6 advantage. Later in the quarter, Hartman connected with Rock on a 40-yard scoring toss and following Joe Welsh’s conversion, the Longhorns led 30-6 at halftime.

“Offensively, we were really good today,” Willey said. “We kept them off balance, mixing in the run and the pass. We love this offensive line, Tyler Holloway, Kellen Peery, Devin Alvarez, Payden Meyer, Cameron Mascareno and Cole Veal. They opened up huge holes today for all of our backs. They also protected our quarterback all year.”

In the second half of the game, Rock ran for a third quarter 25-yard touchdown that moved the Longhorns to a 36-6 lead. After Marysville scored to end the third quarter, Abilene led 36-14.

In the fourth quarter, Hartman found Thomas Keener with a 40-yard scoring play and Abilene moved to a 42-14 lead. Maryville added a late score for the 42-20 final.

“Defensively, we attacked better,” Willey said. “They had a big boy that was tough to bring down but we did a nice job getting multiple bodies to the ball carrier.”

“It will be exciting to watch this group succeed as Cowboys,” Willey concluded.

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

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