Sep. 2—WEATHERFORD — The Weatherford Kangaroos hosted the Pearce Mustangs in their home opener with plenty of excitement in the air.
The Roos and Mustangs battled through an exciting opening quarter, one that saw senior quarterback C.J. Thornton carry the ball six times for 43 yards and two scores, while he completed all six of his pass attempts for 90 yards and a touchdown. However, the game's momentum shifted in a big way.
On the first play of the second quarter, Thornton pulled the ball on an inside zone-read play, lowered his shoulder against a Pearce defender and was hit in a spot that forced him to leave with an injury. After that, Pearce was able to gradually pull away for a 55-37 win.
"We lost our quarterback on the first play of the second quarter, and he was rolling in the first quarter," Roos head coach Aubrey Sims said. "I would attribute the next three quarters to that. He threw one and ran two into the end zone. I didn't think I did a good enough job of having a backup ready to play, and it's just hard to compare them to a returning starting quarterback."
Weatherford went blow-for-blow with Pearce in a high-scoring first quarter that saw each team find the end zone three times. Weatherford did find the end zone two more times after the injury, but Sims described the sideline as "somber" following the injury, which wasn't just devastating to Thornton physically but to the team's morale as well.
Sims said it was hard for the team to continue making plays after the injury, but the Roos are far from ready to hang it up for the year.
"We've worked too hard to say the season is over," Sims said. "We are going to put our heads together offensively and we just need to get better defensively. Our offense is going to have to step their game up at each position, and we are going to have to put someone back there at quarterback, so we will have to let this play out in practice."
The Roos will look to regroup with one more pre-district tilt at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Burleson Elks, who are coming off a 42-7 home loss to Lone Star.