The Prosper Eagles football team notched a convincing 35-7 win over district rival Little Elm at home on Friday, Sept. 29.
The game opened Prosper’s district schedule, coming against the only 14-5A team that went undefeated through the first three weeks of the season. The Eagles (3-1) came out strong and won by the same exact score as the last time the two teams met on Sept. 23, 2016.
“I thought our defense just came out ready to play,” head coach Brandon Schmidt said. “They brought a lot of energy and effort. They dominated a really good offense.”
The Eagles defense, led by coordinator Jason Johns, provided the spark that Prosper needed from beginning to end. The unit did not allow a single offensive touchdown to Little Elm (3-1), with the only score for the Lobos coming on an interception return late in the first quarter.
Prosper held Little Elm to 184 yards of offense and put up 412 of their own. The Lobos entered the matchup averaging more than 460 yards and 53 points per game.
“Little Elm is a good team,” senior linebacker Justin Benvie said. “As long as we continue to play fast, play hard and make tackles, it’s going to be an easy season.”
Senior running back Kaleb Adams dominated on the ground, rushing for 139 yards and three touchdowns, all coming in the first half. Through four games, he leads the team with six touchdowns and over 300 rushing yards.
Two of his scores came from less than 10 yards out after the defense set Prosper up with good field position following a turnover. In total, the Eagles defense had two interceptions and forced one fumble.
“It makes it so much easier for the offense when you only have to go 40 or 50 yards,” Schmidt said. “We have five keys to victory every week, and one of them is to win the field position battle.”
The secondary stymied Little Elm’s passing attack to just 89 yards through the air. Junior Wayne Anderson Jr. and senior Sean Funches both had interceptions to stop two of Little Elm’s best drives of the game.
“We had a lot of different looks for him in hopes of putting a little bit of doubt in his mind,” cornerbacks coach John Brinkley said. “At the same time, we wanted to keep him from getting outside and scrambling.”
Despite some offensive struggles, Prosper still headed into halftime with a 21-7 lead. Starting quarterback and junior Keegan Shoemaker threw three interceptions, leading Schmidt to put senior Matt Bramer under center for the second half. Bramer threw a touchdown on his second drive and finished 5-9 with 80 yards.
Both quarterbacks looked to DJ Love often, who finished with seven catches and 100 yards. Shoemaker completed 7 of 12 passes for 89 yards and wasn’t at his best, but his teammates continued to support him.
“My sophomore year, I fumbled for the first time,” Adams said. “Everybody rallied to pick me up. We just wanted to do the same thing for Keegan.”
The Eagles had full control of the game going into the fourth quarter. Prosper used senior David Alvarez heavily on the ground to run out the clock and attempted only three passes in the final 15 minutes.
Prosper is now tied atop the District 14-5A standings with The Colony, who edged out McKinney North 39-38 in their last game. Next up for the Eagles is a matchup with Newman-Smith (0-4) on the road on Friday, Oct. 6.