The Kennedale Wildcats (7-1, 5-0) will end their regular season defending their district title against the other two top teams in District 6/4A, the Dunbar Wildcats (6-2, 4-1) and the Benbrook Bobcats (6-3, 6-0).
Up first is Dunbar set for tonight at home in Wildcat Stadium beginning at 7:30 pm.
DUNBAR WILDCATS vs KENNEDALE WILDCATS …
Dunbar’s only loss in district play was in an early showdown with Benbrook when the Bobcats walked away with a 23-12 win on September 23, 2021. Dunbar went on to sweep other district opponents – Diamond Hill-Jarvis 53-0, Castleberry 49-11, Carter-Riverside 47-2, Eastern Hills 14-0. Their only other loss came at the hands of OD Wyatt 49-26 in the third game of the season. 5A Wyatt is currently 6-2 and 5-0 in district play.
Last year the Wildcats of Dunbar ended the season with an overall record of 4-4 and in district play 3-3.
Kennedale has not lost a game in district play this year defeating Castleberry 58-0, Eastern Hills 42-0, Western Hills 40-14, Diamond Hill 63-0, and Carter Riverside 70-0. The KCats only loss of the season came against Midlothian Heritage 22-7 in the second game of the season. Heritage is currently 6-2.
Last year Kennedale ended the season 10-1-1 with a league record of 7-0 and went two deep in the playoffs losing to Melissa in the second round 43-17.
Dunbar does pass but not very often. Like Kennedale, the DCats rely mostly on the run game. They have accumulated 176 yards by air with just 2 touchdowns but also have had collected 5 interceptions in their 41 passing attempts.
Kennedale similarly has had 40 passing attempts but with 16 receptions, averaging 17.6 yards per catch and 35.3 yards per game, one touchdown, and no interceptions.
On the ground Dunbar has accumulated 2,665 yards with 29 TDs, averaging 8.6 yards per carry and 333.1 total yards per game. The DCats have two players that share the bulk of the running game, Murry Moore (JR) and Jerrod Braziel (SR).
Moore has carried the ball 94 times for 852 yards this season with a 9.1-yard average per carry. He averages 106.5 yards per game and has 10 TDs and has 4 games over 100 yards. Braziel has 812 yards on 81 carries for 8-12 yards averaging 10 yards per carry with 11 TDs. He has 4 games of 100+ yards.
A third threat in the run game is Tajahn Odom (JR). He has a total of 495 yards with an average of 8.5 yards and has scored 5 TD. He has been their go-to receiver picking up another 130 yards through the air.
Kennedale has rushed for 1,975 yards this year for an average of 6.6 yards per carry and 246.9 yards per game with 33 TDs. The total yards are down for the usual Kennedale team but this year unlike years past, the ball has been shared by several players with 5 players having over 200 yards rushing thus far and with all 5 players scoring 3 or more times.
The primary carrier for Kennedale has been Jerree Mills (SR) with 388 yards on 78 carries and 5 TDs followed by EJ Higgins (SR) with 432 yards on 47 carries and 7 TDs, Cameron Lyles (JR) with 267 on 29 rushes and 7 TDs, Paul Docktor (SR) 254 yards on 9 attempts and 4 TDs, Kenaj Washington (SR) 243 yards on 41 attempts with 2 TDs and Damari Harrell-Jones (JR) 203 yards on 21 carries and 3 TDs.
Dunbar has scored 293 points (36.6 av) this season while allowing 139 points (17.4 av) and has had two shutouts.
Kennedale has scored 326 points (40.8 av) this season while allowing 43 points (5.8 av) with a total of 5 shutouts
For Dunbar, it is their offense. However, this will match up with Kennedale’s power on the defensive side of the ball. It is not often that the defense for Kennedale to be the strength but this has been the case so far this season. Kennedale’s offense does play a major part in their success so far. The offense can spread the ball around and has the talent to do so. Dunbar’s defense will be challenged to contain all including the KCats’ quarterback Paul Docktor who has some big runs this season.
Added to the mix for Kennedale is the kicking game with Aidan Birr (SR) who has kept the opposition deep in their own territory. Birr has had 44 touchbacks this season on 52 kickoffs and 13 punts that have averaged 31.7 yards. He has added 44 points on extra-point attempts out of 46 and 18 points with 6 field goals out of 9 with the longest of 49 yards. And, yes there is run-back specialist Tyler Choice (JR) who has 10 punt returns for 200 yards and 2 touchdowns.
It may be still undecided late in the 4th quarter but Kennedale should get the game ball when the final whistle blows tonight.