Before Saturday, the last time a Keller football team played in the third round of the playoffs, it was 1966.
Fifty-six years ago.
But Keller’s best run in more than half a century later was stopped as the Indians were defeated by Lewisville 43-3 in a Class 6A Division 1 regional semifinal at Choctaw Stadium.
Keller ends the season with a 10-3 record.
Lewisville (12-1) advances to the fourth round for the first time since 1996 and will play the winner of Saturday’s game between North Crowley and Prosper in the Region 1 final.
The Indians beat Ranger in ‘66 for a Class 1A area championship to reach the third round. They had beaten Euless Trinity 17-10 in this year’s bi-district round and Midland Legacy 23-21 in area.
However, battling a potent Lewisville offense, a stingy defense and wet conditions, the Indians had no answer against the Farmers. Both teams fought through the drizzling rain early as Keller had two incomplete passes and a fumble on the opening drive. The Indians did recover, but had to punt.
Three plays into Lewisville’s first drive, the Farmers fumbled and Keller’s John Marc Cabello recovered.
Keller quarterback and Central Arkansas commit Tre Guerra would pick up 28 yards on the ensuing drive down to the Lewisville 23. The Indians would settle for three as Garrett Martin made a 41-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 9:36 left in the first quarter.
On the next play from scrimmage, Lewisville lost its second fumble and Keller’s Parker Knowles recovered.
The Indians managed to get to the Lewisville 29 and Martin lined up for a 46-yard field goal. But the kick was blocked by Caden Jenkins and Cameren Jenkins picked it up and had a nice return to the Keller 36.
The play sparked the Farmers, who would score the game’s final 43 points.
Viron Ellison scored on a 2-yard touchdown run to give Lewisville a 7-3 lead with 5:03 left in the first quarter. Then quarterback Ethan Terrell had a QB draw and scored from 24 yards out to make it 14-3 with 8:24 to go in the second. On the next Lewisville drive, Keller’s Taylor Brannan picked off a pass, sending the two teams into halftime with the same score. The Farmers opened the third with a 35-yard field goal by Freddy Joya to up the lead to 17-3.
Keller started the ensuing drive with a 38-yard pass from Guerra to Amarion Henry. A 24-yard pass from Guerra to Tre’ Griffiths set the Indians up with a first-and-goal at the 10.
But Keller would miss a 28-yard field goal to keep it a two-touchdown game.
The Farmers extended the lead to 24-3 on a 10-yard run from Ellison just before the end of the third. Then it was 31-3 after Tony-Louis Nkuba intercepted a Keller pass at the goal line and returned it 100 yards for the pick-six.
Terrell scored on a 58-yard TD run to give Lewisville a 37-3 lead and Tenel Hill added a touchdown from the 5 with 4:20 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Farmers rushed for nearly 300 yards.
Terrell led the way with 144 yards and two TDs on 11 carries.
Ellison chipped in two scores and 82 yards on 22 carries.
Hart led Keller with over 100 yards rushing.
Lewisville has given up three points in the last two playoff games. The Farmers shut out Arlington Martin 10-0 in the area round. They have won 11 in row. They’re only loss came 31-17 in Week 2 against Highland Park.