HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Prolific Round Rock offense not expected to slow down this season

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Round Rock has had one of the most fun offenses to watch over the last two seasons.

While it's still going to be a blast to check out this season with a few key returners, it's explosiveness and shiftiness might take a step back.

The Dragons probably have the best offensive combo in the area in junior quarterback Seth Ford and senior receiver Collin Sullivan, who officially committed to play at Purdue next season earlier this summer.

Ford is a dangerous thrower and racked up 653 yards and six touchdowns as a backup last season. Sullivan, meanwhile, caught 42 passes for 636 yards and three touchdowns.

The duo replaces quarterback Ryan O'Keefe, who threw for 1,068 yards and seven touchdowns and ran for a team-high 1,844 yards and 28 touchdowns, with 10 games of 100 or more yards. The speedster qualified for the state track meet in the 100-yard dash and is now playing football at South Florida.

Running back Marquis Brown also took up a big chunk of the offense last season, rushing for 1,389 yards and 25 touchdowns.

Round Rock had by far the most potent offense in the district last season, averaging nearly 50 points a game during district play.

The Dragons only scored fewer than 36 points in a game one time all season. Some of the scores are eye-popping, like beating Vista Ridge 67-41 or falling to Cedar Ridge 70-56 or their playoff loss to Klein 66-59 in double overtime when it was a race to make the first stop.

Expect the pass-run ratio to even out a bit this season, but the offense won't be any less fun to watch.

The defense is where the Dragons could take a step forward. Round Rock made the playoffs despite allowing a district-worse 38.42 points per game.

Sure, it's the win count that matters at the end of the regular season, but the Dragons would have been far better off in the district if they could have made defensive stops when they counted the most.

In one example, in their loss to Vandegrift, the Dragons allowed the Vipers to convert on a trio of fourth downs on the final, game-winning drive.

Round Rock opens the season by hosting Harker Heights on Aug. 30 before traveling to take on Belton in Week 2 of the regular season. The Dragons open District 13-6A play against a pair of Round Rock ISD schools in McNeil and Westwood.

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