Info and photo used was provided by Jeff Sisemore and MaxPreps
The Kennedale Wildcats met an upper-tier team in District 6/4A away from the secure confines of the Wildcat’s home field and won a convincing victory. Maybe from the coaching staff, it was just the feeling of satisfaction. It did add at least a layer of needed confidence as the confrontation with the Dunbar Wildcats looms this Friday. Both Kennedale and Dunbar have identical district records of 5-1.
More on that contest to follow in another article later this week.
Back to Saturday …
It was not an easy walk despite the final score. Western Hills was able to make some long drives downfield only to be denied in the shadows of the Wildcat goal line. It has been a while since the defense had such a challenge. It was a good workout and needed testing of skills and discipline as the team moves to a final season showdown and into the playoffs.
Oh yes, the Wildcats qualified for the playoffs once again and for the 22nd straight year.
The Wildcat offense also proved equal to the challenge and had several multiple-play drives while scoring four touchdowns. Note: The Kennedale defense scored the other. This was not like recent games when the defense handed the offense the ball in the opponents’ backyard often with 25 yards or less to score.
It is not that the Cats haven’t been winning and winning by huge numbers but the games were mind-numbing affairs where the offense was on the field three plays or less and there was a score. The same for the defense with three defensive plays and a forced punt or some other typed of turnover. Their practices were harder. This game was a real challenge, maybe, not as great as feared but still a good hard workout success.
One concern might be the three Kennedale turnovers – 3 fumbles and 1 interception. It was wet but it will be wetter still this Friday. Dunbar likes to go for the ball even before a tackle is secure. Maybe it is a fallout of watching the pros too much but the chance of stripping the ball from a runner or receiver shows up better than a straight-up hardnose tackle. Kennedale will have to guard against this tendency.
Highlights from the Kennedale/Western Hills game of Saturday last …
QUARTER ONE – No one scores
- The Kennedale (KN) Wildcats opened the game on the KN42 after the kickoff from the Western Hills (WH) Cougars with a turnover two plays later on an interception. The Cougars got their first start at the WH32.
- WH showed their muscle and drove the field to the KN26 but the Cats forced a “turnover on downs”.
- The Wildcats responded with a drive of their own that included a fake punt but it ended with a fumble to the Cougar at the WH39.
QUARTER TWO – Wildcats score 17 points
- After having a 70-yard TD pass called back, WH is forced to punt on a 4&22 at the WH24. Kennedale blocked the punt and the ball was recovered and returned for a 3-yard TD. After a successful PAT the Cats have put the first points on the board. Score 7-0 with 11 minutes in 1st half.
- The Cougars after the KO were backed up to the WH17 before launching a six-play drive that would take them all the way to the KN32. The Wildcat’s defense took a stand and forced another WH “turnover on downs” on a 4&7.
- Kennedale from the KN32 marched down the field in eight plays (despite two flags) and scored on an 18-yard rushing play. With four minutes left in the first half, the score was 14-0 after PAT.
- Western Hills from the WH21 is forced to “turnover on downs” for a third time on a 4&6 at the WH25 with just over 2 minutes left in the half. It was a huge gamble by the WH coaching staff as the rain begin to fall and it backed fired as Kennedale put up 3 points with a field goal with 41 seconds remaining in the half. Score 17-0 Kennedale.
- The Cougars are unable to respond as time ran out in the half.
QUARTER THREE: Wildcats score 2 touchdowns
- The Wildcats take complete control of the game when they added another TD after intercepting a Cougars pass on a 3&9 at the WH21 in the opening series of the 3rd quarter. The ball was returned to the WH4 and the Cats scored one rushing play later. PAT was good. Score 24-0 Kennedale.
- From the WH30, the Cougars are flagged twice and were unable to move on Kennedale. WH punts on a 4&22 at the WH22. The punt is rushed and short, giving KN the ball on WH35.
- Kennedale returns the favor and is forced to punt after being stopped by the Cougars and a flag. The punt on a 4&17 from WH38 favors Kennedale and the Cougars have the ball on their own 3.
- Western Hills with a strong effort drives from their 3-yard line to the WH43 before the Cat’s defense forces a 4th “over on downs”.
- Kennedale pushes the ball back towards the WH goal line and as the time ran out in the quarter, the Cats have a 3&1 on goal. Score: 24-0 Kennedale
QUARTER FOUR: Kennedale adds more two touchdowns
- The Wildcats scored a rushing TD on the first play of the final quarter from the WH1. With the PAT the score is 31 -0 Kennedale.
- Cougars from the WH25 make the WH41 but are stopped after a personal foul called on a WH player. WH punts on a 4&21 at WH26 and the punts sails and KN takes over at the KN20.
- Flags on both sides slowed the Cats at first but a long pass completion gives the Cats the 50-yard line. After one flag and another pass completion, the Cats are on the WH49. But the Wildcats fumble giving the ball back to WH at the KN48.
- The Cougars make the KN35 but a sack and a lost fumble on a pass reception gave Kennedale the ball back at KN41. The Wildcat offense makes good on this opportunity and scores on a 6-play 59-yard drive. With the PAT the score is 38-0 Kennedale.
- From WH37, the Cougars are unable to move the ball with a strong Wildcats defensive stand along with a penalty. WH is forced to punt on a 4&17 at WH30. A short punt gives the ball to the Cats on the WH44. With just 36 seconds left in the game, Kennedale takes a knee and ends the game.
FINAL SCORE: 38-0
- Kennedale – 11 possessions ended with 1 punt, 2 fumbles, 1 interception, 1 clock run out, 5 TDs and 1 FG.
- Western Hills – 11 possessions ended with 4 punts, 1 fumble, 4 over on downs, 1 interception, 1 clock run out with no points.
- Kennedale – 247 yds rushing, 34 yds receiving, 25 yds kick return, total 306 yards.
- Western Hills – 188 yds rushing, 48 yds receiving, 81 yds kick return, total 317 yds.
- 20 penalties equally shared by both teams.
Top Performers for Wildcats …
- Cameron Lyles (Sr) 136yds (5.2avg), 3 TDs, 18 tl/pts
- Jeremiah Clea (Jr) 46yds (9.2avg)
- D. Harrell-Jones (Sr) 44yds (7.3avg), 2 TDs, 1 fum rec, 1 punt blk, 12 tl/pts
- Reggie Mapps (Sr) 7 yds rushing, 25yds receiving
- Poasa Utu (Sr) 11 tckls, 4 TFL, 1 intcp, 25yds KOR
- Shane Hull (Sr) 10 tckls, 1 TFL, 1 pass/defense, 1 caused/fum, 1 punt 30yds
- Jaylen Webb (Sr) 10 tckls,
- Jacorey Jackson Jr (Sr) 8 tckls, 1 TFL,
- Tyler Greenfield (So) 5 tckls, 2 TFL
- Daniel Cooper (Jr) 4 tckls, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 hurry
- Isiah Morris (Jr) 3 tckls, 2 TFL
- Adan Houston (Sr) 4 tckls, 2 pass/defense
- Zach Conner (Sr) 3 tckls, 1 fum/rec
- Austin Thiele (So) 5 KO for 230 yds (46yds/avg)
- Lance Pate (So) 5/5 PATs, 1 FG (45yds), 8 tl pts
Upcoming Kennedale vs Dunbar – two heavyweights meet Friday