Mabank notches 31-7 win over Kemp
Posted by : September 26, 2012| On :
KEMP–The Mabank Panthers defeated the hosting Kemp Yellowjackets, 31-7, Friday.
Despite the one-sided score, Kemp moved the ball well, and racked up strong yardage against Mabank.
Kemp gained 200 rushing yards and 89 passing yards in the contest.
Mabank rushed 34 times for 211 yards and gained 107 yards in the air.
Looking at those numbers can lead you to believe a much closer score.
However, as Kemp head football coach Greg Anderson explained it, “Our mistakes were costly, we basically gave Mabank 21 points on miscues.”
Both teams started the game dealing with some lingering injuries.
“We had to tweak some things due to injuries,” Mabank head coach Jared Wingfield said. “Our kids responded well to the changes.”
The Yellowjackets opened the game looking strong, as they marched down the field for 68 yards and a touchdown on only six plays.
Kemp’s Blake Watkins contributed 15 of his team-high 76 yards to move the ball from the Mabank 32 to the 49 where quarterback Corey Watkins blasted through the line for a 51-yard scoring run to open the game.
With less than three minutes elapsed, the ’Jackets led 7-0.
Mabank responded with a strong drive, but stalled at the Kemp 45 before punting away.
Kemp’s second drive started as well as the first, highlighted by an impressive 21-yard run by junior running back Braxton Allison.
Things looked good for Kemp until Mabank Panther sophomore defensive back Colt Conway picked up a fumble in the Kemp backfield and returned it for a 51-yard touchdown. Korey Roberts’ first of four PAT’s on the night knotted the score at 7-7.
The second play of Kemp’s next drive resulted in an interception by the Panther’s senior defensive back Dakota Gentry. The interception was returned to the Yellowjackets 5 yardline.
Sophomore Clay Gaddis then punched in on the very next play to give the Panthers a 14-7 lead.
The Yellowjackets then began an impressive drive that brought them all the way to the Mabank 9 before turning the ball over on downs.
The Panthers moved all the way down to the Kemp 16 where Roberts’ 34-yard field goal gave them a 17-7 lead.
The second half opened with Kemp getting one of their few breaks of the season as they recovered a Panther fumble at their own 39.
After the drive stalled at the Mabank 44, Blake Watkins pinned the Panthers at their own 1-foot line with an impressive punt and excellent team coverage.
The teams played evenly through the rest of the quarter until Mabank blocked a punt and recovered it at the Yellowjackets 9 yardline.
Senior quarterback Rance Thorne then completed a 4-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Cody Thompson to put the Panthers up 24-7 with 15 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
The Yellowjackets continued the run the ball well, but could not overcome the fresh legs that Panthers were able to put on the field.
The Panthers final score came on a four-yard run by junior running back Dylan Schneider with 1:58 remaining, securing the 31-7 lead.
During the game, Mabank Panther lineman John Velez was carted off the field and take to the hospital. Doctors reported favorable findings, and he is listed as day-to-day.
Although Mabank allowed Kemp plenty of yardage, the Panther defense held strong when it mattered.
“Our defense wasn’t as consistent in the first half,” Wingfield said. “At halftime, our defensive staff did a great job making adjustments.”
Wingfield expressed great pride in his defense’s ability to step up and make plays, noting that the offense followed suit.
“Our defensive line played really well this week. “John Demayo, Cody Kuykendall and Colton Thomas all had 12 or more tackles,” Wingfield added.
Wingfield also pointed out offensive standouts Rance Thorne and his receiving corps.
“Rance (Thorne) had a much better game this week. He has progressively gotten better,” Wingfield stated. “This is a new system for him and he is understanding it a lot better. He’s a smart kid. The better he gets, the better we’ll do.”
Kemp had its own set of injuries to deal with coming into the game.
“The injuries are getting better, but it seems we get some back from injuries, then turn around and lose others,” Anderson said, pointing out a game injury wide receiver Bryce Allison sustained. Allison is questionable for next week with a shoulder injury. However, the good news is that there are no tears or breaks involved.
Anderson, like Wingfield, is proud of the improvement his team has seen in recent weeks.
“We moved the ball really well,” Anderson said. “And our defense did a good job of containing Mabank.
“Our mistakes cost us more than anything Mabank did.”
Although moving the ball well, Kemp appears to have trouble punching through to the endzone.
“We’ve got to do a better job of finishing drives,” Anderson commented.
Kemp will be concentrating on correcting those mistakes this week in practice, although practice will be difficult with the loss of two fellow athletes Sunday.
The Yellowjackets open district play Friday as they host the Eustace Bulldogs for the other Cedar Creek Lake area rivalry game.
“We’ve learned a lot of things in the first four weeks. Hopefully we can overcome the distractions,” Anderson said.
“Eustace will come right us. We’ve got to do a good job defensively stopping their run. It’ll be a tough, hard-nosed football game.”
The Mabank Panthers will travel to Kaufman to face the Lions. The contest will be Mabank’s final pre-district game.
“They’ll be tough and will bring it to us in every way,” Wingfield said. “They have a good defense, and their kids know it well.
“Offensively, they want to run the ball, but are proficient with the passing game when they go to it,” Wingfield added.
Kaufman is a speedy team with good size and play a strong physical game. “Our defensive coaches will have their hands full,” Wingfield commented. “But our kids know we have the ability to do great things, and how to do them.”