The Longhorns (7-0, 2-0) managed a meager seven points in the first half against a stifling Cardinals defense, but they responded for 28 points in the second half behind three Moxey
Kell led 7-6 at halftime because of Moxey’s 1-yard touchdown run on the Longhorns’ first drive of the game and a stout defensive effort.
But from that point on in the first half, Osborne (2-5, 0-2) kept Kell in check, and Longhorns coach Derek Cook had a simple message for his team at halftime.
“They were whipping us on the line of scrimmage. Plain and simple,” Cook said. “They were whipping our tails up front on both sides of the ball.”
The first drive of the second half may have set the tone for the rest of the game.
Kell lined up and ran Moxey right at Osborne’s defense. The senior tailback rushed for 35 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown on that opening drive.
Moxey finished the game with 135 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries.
Cook had a simple goal with that first drive of the second half.
“Score. We wanted to manhandle them and score,” he said. “(Moxey) is the littlest guy with the biggest heart. If all of our guys had a heart like him, we would win a state championship.”
Cook said Osborne made it tough on his team to get anything going in the first half. The Cardinals registered three sacks in the game and did not allow a running play of longer than 16 yards until late in the fourth quarter.
“I have to give all the credit in the world to Osborne. They came out and played very, very hard and physical,” Cook said. “They were more physical than us in the first half. They took it to us. All the credit goes to Osborne. They played great.”
Moxey pushed Kell’s lead to 14-6 on the first drive of the second half, but Osborne’s defense never stopped pressuring quarterback Matthew McGuigan. After the Cardinals were forced to punt, Jaquinton Alston-Thompson tipped a McGuigan pass into the air right to himself and returned the interception to the Kell 15-yard line.
Osborne turned the turnover into a 29-yard field goal off the leg of Vincente Gutierrez and cut the deficit to 14-9. The Longhorns stalled on their next drive, but scored on their first three possessions of the fourth quarter to push the lead to 35-9.
Osborne coach Xarvia Smith said his team never gave up at any point in the game.
The Cardinals scored the final touchdown of the game when quarterback Craig Robinson led an 80-yard scoring drive in less than a minute late in the fourth quarter. The final score of 35-15 came after a failed 2-point conversion attempt.
“We stayed in there, but we just missed some plays that we needed to make,” Smith said. “You have to make those plays when you are the underdog and less talented than the other team. I was proud of the way the guys fought to the end.”