Kennedale Wildcats vs Brownwood tonight – Wildcat Stadium 7:30pm – opening round of the 2020 Texas UIL 4A Football Championship Playoffs (Buy Tickets)
Win or lose tonight, this season has to be one of the most unusual in the 40+ years of coaching for Richard Barrett. He started the season with one of the smaller turnouts for two-a-days in recent years. He had some big holes to fill due to graduation and no shows and he would have to rely on young inexperienced players to do it. All that with the threat of COVID-19 closing down practices, games, or the season literally at any moment.
Ten games in, the Wildcats have just completed the regular season with their 9th straight undefeated district championship and their 20th straight invitation to the Texas High School Football Championship playoffs. All capped with an undefeated regular season, only their 4th in school history.
Meticulous preparation, always believing you can win and getting the most out given talent …
Barrett, son of Texas High School coach Harold Barrett, is in his 42nd year of coaching with 26 years as a head coach, the last 20 years at Kennedale High School. He believes in the run game (Wing-T) as the bread and butter with a dash of passing as the spice.
Barrett led teams are prepared to go the distant mentally and physically with a strong emphasis on physically. Many of the close games for Barrett over the years have been won in the 4th quarter when everyone else on the field is exhausted. Losing is not an option as long as there is time left on the clock. But, once a loss has been recorded, there is no time for mourning, it is on to the next win.
In 2017, Dave Campbell’s Texas High School Football called Barrett one of the state’s “Underrated coaches you should know.” In the same year, he celebrated his career 200th win – he has since added 27 to that number. Kennedale players under Barrett have never played for a losing team and have never missed playing in at least one state playoff game.
At the beginning of this season, the Kennedale News asked the question are the Kennedale Wildcats rebuilding or reloading? The answer is, that with the Barrett inspired Wildcats, Kennedale always just reloads.
Last week …
Kennedale won big over Castleberry 52-7 completing an undefeated 9-0-1 regular season (one game was a forfeit by FTW Diamond Hill).
Kennedale highlighted its age diversity with sophomores, juniors and seniors all contributing on this night.
Kennedale put up big numbers outrushing Castleberry 328 yards to 54 yards. Kennedale’s QB Jeremiah Myers (SO) had one of his best nights in his first year as a starter for Kennedale. In passing, he was 8-12 (.667) for 82 yards and 2 TDs while rushing for 43 yards and another TD. Kicker Aidan Birr (JR) was 7-7 on point-after kicks and 1-1 on field goal (30yds).
Cameron Lyles (SO) picked up for the missing-in-action, Ife Current (SR), had his first 100+ yard game with 11 carries for 123 yards and 2 TDs. Kenaj Washington (JR) added another TD on 43 yards. Marlete Joyner (SR) added another 72 yards for an 8-yards per carry average. Two Wildcat receivers scored TDs – Zach Thetford (SR) and Nevyn Johnson (SO).
Defensively, Kennedale had 2 takeaways, recorded 16 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries, 2 pass break-ups, 1 sack, 5 quarterback defenses, and 1 touchdown. In six of Kennedale’s 9 games played this season, the defense has scored points either on safeties or by touchdowns. In all but one game the defense has had at least one takeaway.
Individuals Stats: Braden Waters (JR) 14 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 pass break-up, and 2 quarterback defenses. Antoine Martin (JR) 13 tackles, 3 for loss, and 1 quarterback defense. RJ Pepper (JR) 12 tackles, 4 for loss, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 quarterback defense. JD Coffey (SR) – 10 tackles, 2 for loss, and 1 touchdown. Chris Washington (JR) – 6 tackles, 3 for loss. Poasa Utu (SO) – 4 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 sack, and 2 quarterback defenses.
Others tacking up tackles were Aidan Birr (JR) – 5, Travis Neyhart (JR) – 4, Pa’ton Bragg (SR) – 3, Miguel Arias (SR) – 3, Junior Seay (SR) – 2, Kameron Sallis (SO) – 2, Tyler Choice (SO) – 1.
If you are unable to attend see a livestream of the Kennedale vs Brownwood Bi-District tonight by clicking here!