An untested Wildcat football team on Friday night managed a comeback win sealed with a last-second crowd-pleasing kick to win 28-27.
It was a messy game at Kennedale Wildcat Stadium Friday, marred by turnovers, sloppy play, and penalties. But it was saved by a strong running game, big plays on both sides of the ball for Kennedale with key blocks and tackles, and a solid kicking game. All that was combined with a refusal to give up – a hallmark of a Coach Barrett led-team.
Game summary …
The Wildcats fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter before the offense had even touched the ball. In the second quarter, Kennedale was able to light up the scoreboard and keep themselves in the game.
It started with a nice drive for the Cats however that ended with a missed field goal. Using that as motivation, Kennedale quickly got another opportunity after shutting down the Raiders and forcing a short punt that put the Cats on their own 49-yard line. Kennedale took advantage of the short field and scored seven plays later with a 29 yard run by Cameron Lyles (SO) and runs of 8, 13, and 6 yards by Marlete Joyner (SR) who scored the TD. The extra-point kick failed but the Cats were finally on the scoreboard 10-6.
Teams swap TDs
Sunnyvale immediately matched the Cats touchdown with one of their own – a 75-yard pass play on the first play of their next drive. With the extra point good, Sunnyvale was up 17-6. On the following kickoff, Wildcat Braden Waters (JR) grabbed the short kick and ran it back 33 yards to the Sunnyvale 39. Running back Marlete Joyner picked up 14 and, then after a 10 penalty on the Wildcats, Ife Adeyemi (SR) scored on a 35-yard carry. The extra-point kick was good and the score was now 17-13 Sunnyvale. Kennedale remained in the game.
In the latter part of the half, each side wasted scoring opportunities. After an exchange of fumbles and a late Kennedale JD Coffey (SR) interception stopping a Sunnyvale drive on the Kennedale 35, the half ended with the score Sunnyvale 17, Kennedale 13.
In the third quarter, both teams struggled early. A failed Sunnyvale field goal attempt from the Kennedale 10 yard line gave Kennedale new hope. That hope was extinguished two series later when Sunnyvale connected on an 81-yard touchdown pass to take a 24-13 lead with just over a minute left in the quarter.
Cats keep it close with another touchdown
For the Wildcat faithful, this was a trying time. But, with a hint of the team they could be, the Wildcats responded just two plays later with a 55-yard touchdown run by Ife Ideyemi.
Headed into the 4th, Kennedale was now behind 24-19 after their 2 point conversion attempt failed.
First lead of the game
Kennedale struck first in the last quarter with a 16-yard TD toss by QB Jeremiah Myers (SO) to Jaylen Webb (SO) that capped a six-play drive. With just over 8 minutes left in the game, the Kennedale Wildcats had their very first lead at 25-24 after the Cats failed on a two-point conversion attempt.
Sunnyvale goes up by two
But the visiting Raiders were not beaten yet. On an eight-play drive, highlighted with a 52-yard pass completion on a 4th and 21 at their own 14, Sunnyvale kicked a 48-yard field goal to retake the lead at 27-25 with 6:50 left in the game.
With the clocking winding down the Cats were forced to punt on their next possession on a 4th and 13 at the Kennedale 16. Sunnyvale was now in control of the clock and the game. Starting at their 40 after a 44-yard punt by Aiden Birr (JR), the Raiders drove down the field to the Kennedale 26 aided by a Raider 19-yard run and a 5-yard penalty on the Wildcats.
A little Kennedale magic
Then the unbelievable happened, on a 2nd and 5 at the Kennedale 26, and with a heads-up play by the Kennedale defense, Sunnyvale fumbled and the Cats had recovered on their own 29-yard line. The Wildcats had earned one more chance with under 3 minutes to play.
No time on clock as ball sails through
Two plays later Wildcat Marlete Joyner sliced through the Raiders on a 43 yard run to the Sunnyvale 29. Joyner then combined with Cameron Lyles to drive the ball to the Sunnyvale 5 with 3 seconds on the clock. With the clock showing zeros, Aidan Birr kicked a 22-yard field goal, winning the game for Kennedale, 28-27.
The Wildcats are now 1-0 and begin district play next week against FTW Carter-Riverside. The game will be played at Farrington Field in Fort Worth on Thursday evening. Game time 7pm.
Game stats …
Sunnyvale searching for answers to their now 4 game losing streak, played 3 different quarterbacks. Each found success through the air.
Sunnyvale prevailed in the air
- The Raiders out passed the Wildcats for 298 yards on 27 attempts and 1 TD.
- Kennedale, never a passing team, attempted only 8 passes, connecting on 1 for a 16 yard TD.
Leading receivers for the game …
- Noah McDill (Sunnyvale) 181 yards on 6 receptions (30.17 ave) and 2 touchdowns;
- Max Mcada (Sunnyvale) 88 yards on 4 catches (22 ave);
- Alex Luna (Sunnyvale) 3 passes for 22 yards (7.33 ave);
- Jaylen Webb (Kennedale) 16 yards and a touchdown.
Kennedale controlled the ground game
- Kennedale racked up 315 rushing yards at 7 yards per clip and 3 touchdowns.
- Sunnyvale was limited to just 39 yards on 31 attempts at 1.28 average per carry and 1 touchdown.
Leading rushers for Kennedale were …
- Ife Adeyemi (SR) with 118 yards on 11 carries (10.73 ave) and 2 touchdowns;
- Marlete Joyner (SR) with 106 yards on 14 carries (7.57 ave) and 1 touchdown;
- Cameron Lyles (SO) had 67 yards on 9 carries (7.44 ave).
Leading rushers for Sunnyvale were …
- Obi Arinze 19 yards on 15 carries (1.27 ave);
- Max Mcada 9 carries for 17 yards (1.89 ave);
- Jake Talylor 4 carries for 6 yards and 1 touchdown.
The kicking game had a few misses but overall it was an area of strength for the Wildcats. Aidan Birr (JR) had 4 touchback kick-offs and punts of 53 (endzone), 41 yards (endzone), 44 yards along with 1 extra point kick plus the crucial game-winning 22-yard field goal with no time left on the clock.
- 13 1st downs;
- 331 total yards;
- 16 yards by pass, 2 yard average 1 TD;
- 315 yards by rush on 45 attempts, 7 yards ave, 3 touchdowns;
- turnovers 1 on a fumble;
- 11 penalties for 90 yards
- 13 1st downs;
- 337 total yards;
- 298 yds by pass (27-14) with 1 interception, 11.04 yard ave;
- 39 yards by rush on 31 attempts, 1.28 yards average pick-up;
- turnovers 3 (2 fumbles, 1 interception);
- penalties 4 for 30 yards
Scoring by Quarter:
- 1st Sunnyvale 10 Kennedale 0;
- 2nd Sunnyvale 7 Kennedale 13;
- 3rd Sunnyvale 7 Kennedale 6;
- 4th Sunnyvale 3 Kennedale 3;
- Total Sunnyvale 27 Kennedale 28