Lake Dallas junior wide receiver Keegan Brewer, left, tries to slip away from Dallas Kimball senior defensive back Antoine Stephenson.
Lake Dallas wide receiver Keegan Brewer is focused on scoring touchdowns. Heâ€™s just never kept track.
Brewer, a junior, was floored when he heard the numbers â€” 21 touchdowns, 18 of them receiving â€” earlier this week. Coupled with his 1,002 yards, he is ranked fifth in the Dallas-Fort Worth area among Class 5A receivers heading into Fridayâ€™s Region I Division II bi-district tilt against Wichita Falls â€” slated for 7:30 p.m. at Springtown.
â€œI donâ€™t think about it because Iâ€™m just trying to help win a game,â€ Brewer said. â€œI didnâ€™t know I had that many.â€
Neither did his quarterback, Dagan Haehn, who refers to their relationship on the field as, â€œalmost telepathic.â€
â€œI throw the ball and Iâ€™m thinking itâ€™s incomplete, but thereâ€™s Keegan making the catch and running another 80 yards for a touchdown,â€ Haehn laughed. â€œIt blows my mind. They make it easy on me. They make me look good.â€
Haehn used the word â€œtheyâ€ because running back Courtenay Holder has fueled a rushing attack that, combined with Brewerâ€™s big-play ability, has opened the door for everyone else and taken the Lake Dallas offense to another level. Holder has 709 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns heading into the postseason, giving the Falcons their most balanced attack on offense under 10th-year coach Michael Young.
â€œThey both know you win a lot of games by scoring touchdowns, and theyâ€™re both very good at it,â€ Young said of Brewer and Holder. â€œWeâ€™ve got one guy making big plays as a receiver and another who is hard to stop in the red zone, so weâ€™re going to ride them as long as we can.â€
It doesnâ€™t stop there. Brewer is one of three Lake Dallas receivers â€” the others being Brett Sasser and Garrett Shackelford â€” with at least 29 receptions. All three have combined for 29 receiving touchdowns. Then there are Josh Rowe and Tristan Bowen, who both have close to 300 receiving yards.
Lake Dallas (9-1) is riding a nine-game win streak and is ranked second in 5A in total offense with 4,902 yards. The team is averaging just more than 262 yards passing and 228 rushing yards per game.
â€œItâ€™s all playing out exactly the way we figured it would,â€ Holder said.
Last year, Brewer, Holder and Haehn were part of a sophomore class trying desperately to learn the ropes on varsity. Haehn was named the starting quarterback before the season, and he thought his go-to target would be then-senior Josh Jackson, the teamâ€™s top playmaker coming into the year.
When Jackson fractured his foot against Trophy Club Nelson, it put the onus on those younger players â€” including Brewer and Holder. Both played well, but they also missed significant time with their own injuries. A 21-7 loss to Wichita Falls in Week 8 eliminated the Falcons from the postseason for the first time in 11 years.
â€œThatâ€™s one loss that stuck with all of us for quite some time,â€ Young said.
Not only are Brewer and Holder healthy, but no one has found a way to slow them down â€” or figure out which one to key on. In a 49-34 nondistrict win against Dallas Kimball, Holder rushed for four touchdowns. A few weeks later, Brewer rushed for 114 yards, had another 158 yards receiving and scored five times in a 47-26 win against Birdville. There were three games this season where Brewer and Holder each scored two touchdowns.
â€œIâ€™m pretty excited about our chances [in playoffs]. In previous years we had a good passing game but didnâ€™t necessarily have the running game, or vice versa,â€ Brewer said. â€œThere were also times in the past where players would get upset that they didnâ€™t get the ball more. Weâ€™ve never thought that way this year. We just go out and play.â€
Brewer and Holderâ€™s contributions go well beyond offense.
Holder plays approximately half the game or more as an outside linebacker while Brewer is subbed in frequently at cornerback. Brewer has six interceptions.
â€œIf you really want to win, you can do it,â€ Holder said of playing both ways. â€œI donâ€™t mind it at all, itâ€™s whatever I need to do to help the team.â€
Young agreed, saying their unselfish play has fed to the rest of the team.
â€œKeegan is so hard to stop because heâ€™s so versatile, and weâ€™ve been pleasantly surprised with the way things have gone with Courtenay because he has so much on his plate,â€ Young said. â€œThey each do whatever we need them to do, and everyone likes these two guys. When they are successful, it gets the rest of the team going.â€
STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 940-566-6869 or via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.