Keller Central earns first playoff trip, denies Coppell postseason berth

SOUTHLAKE — They celebrated until the darkness swept in.

Keller Central had defeated Coppell, 28-7, on Friday night, and a throng of fans joined the players on the field, the school’s first-ever playoff berth in tow, an accomplishment they would savor until the Carroll Stadium crew cut the lights.

And this was the type of game to remember. Tied at seven after the first half, Keller Central (8-2, 5-2 in District 7-5A) ran away with it. Martin Alvarez, that is, ran away with it. He had 13 carries for the game, all in the second half, for 123 yards. He ran for touchdowns of 37, 5 and 38 yards.

“I don’t even know how to explain how good that kid is at football,” said fellow running back Jimmari Morris, who had Keller Central’s lone first-half touchdown and finished with 84 yards.

For Coppell, which misses the playoffs at 6-4, 3-4, it was another blow in a season that has included an injury to starting quarterback Jake Larson and the firing of an offensive coordinator.

The Cowboys will likely find this one as tough to comprehend. They had four trips into the red zone in the first three quarters, coming away with just seven points.

On the other end of the spectrum, Keller Central coach Bart Helsley didn’t even want his players to think back on this game yet. That could come as they studied for next week’s playoff matchup. For now, he wanted them to live in the moment.

“Enjoy every second,” Helsley said, “and I think they are.”

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