“It’s really unexpected,” said Kenedy head coach Lin Havron. “Most people didn’t pick us to finish above last place. The kids overachieved everything and it’s a tribute to them believing in our program and finding ways to win ball games.”
The first quarter’s lone score came at the 7:58 mark as Dominic Cruz connected with Seferino Villarreal on a 42-yard passing score, though the failed conversion left Kenedy’s lead at 6-0. The Wildcats got on the board just five seconds into the second quarter as Trevor Reed scored on a 10-yard run, though the failed conversion attempt kept the game tied at 6-6.
The Lions retook the lead with 7:34 to go in the second quarter as Cedric Mejia scored on a 5-yard run, though the failed conversion left the score at 12-6. The Wildcats pounced back to retake the lead at the 2:40 mark of the second quarter as Brandon Smith scored on a 14-yard run and Milan Eckhardt kicked the PAT to give Yorktown the 13-12 lead. The Lions retook the lead for good with 22 seconds left until halftime as Cruz connected with Mejia on a 3-yard passing touchdown. Cruz passed to Tony Alemen for the two-point conversion to put the halftime score in Kenedy’s favor at 20-13.
The third quarter’s lone score came on the legs of Mejia, as he scored with precisely one minute left on a 5-yard run. Jordan Valdez kicked the extra point to put the Lions’ lead at 27-13 going into the fourth quarter. Valdez was a perfect three-for-three on extra point attempts in the game, with all his attempts coming in the second half as well.
The Lions scored twice more in the fourth quarter. The first of these scores came at the 9:11 mark on a 3-yard run by Mejia, his third rushing touchdown of the contest. The second came with 3:28 on the clock as Jacob Asebedo scored on a 24-yard run. The Wildcats would not give in, as they scored with 1:22 left to play. Jacob Garcia connected with Grant Allman on a 16-yard passing score. Garcia connected with Caleb Schendel for the conversion, but the Lions’ lead stood tall at 41-21 as time expired.
Statistically, the Lions gained 342 yards of total offense, with 245 yards rushing over 36 carries and 97 yards passing over eight completions. By comparison, the Wildcats were held to 257 yards of total offense, with 192 yards rushing over 38 carries and 65 yards passing over six completions. In terms of penalties, the Lions were flagged eight times for 72 total yards and the Wildcats were flagged six times for 50 total yards.
Havron credited his team for remaining healthy through the district gauntlet.
“It’s funny because I think we were better experienced last year,” said Havron. “This year, we’ve been healthy through the district games.”
This week, the Lions will have a Bye week before the Bi-District round of the Class 1A Division I playoffs. The Lions will face the second place team out of District 16. That spot is currently held by the Ben Bolt Badgers, a team the Lions are familiar with.
“We’ll start preparing for them,” said Havron. “We were in their district for two years. It’s nice to have a week to prepare for them, get healthy and have a chance to win a playoff game. That’s one of our goals.”
Further details on Kenedy’s Bi-District game will be posted on www.mysoutex.com as they become readily available.