Kemp closes season with 42-20 win

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : November 14, 2012

Kemp vs Grand Saline

Courtesy Photo/Faith Caughron
Kemp Yellowjacket running back Blake Watkins (32) presses forward for yardage as offensive lineman Nick Smith (53) provides a timely block.

By Curtis Donovan
Contributing Writer

GRAND SALINE–Ending the season on an up note, the Kemp Yellowjackets defeated the Grand Saline Indians by the score of 42-20 at the Indians home field.
After taking the ball over on downs at their own 32, the ’Jackets began their usual ball controlling, methodic march down the field.
Opening with an end around by sophomore wide out David Dennis for 16-yards the visitors from Kemp displayed a dominating running game.
Senior running back Blake Watkins then crashed through the middle of the line to add seven more, bringing the ’Jackets to the Indians’ 42.
Sharing the running duties, the Kemp’ Dennis and Watkins moved all the way to the six, where, with 3:34 remaining in the quarter, Watkins blasted over for the first of his two scores of the evening.
On Senior Night, Grand Saline showed plenty of fight on the next series. Sophomore quarterback Austen Truett led the attack with passes to John Corralles for a gain of 19, then to Dean Latta for 11 more.
An incompletion to senior back Brian Davis was quickly followed by another big 14-yard passing gain to Corralles.
Two more yards by T.J. Ollison set the table as Truett hit Latta for the Indians’ first score of the night.
With 44 seconds left on the first quarter clock, the PAT was no good and the score stood at 7-6 in favor of the Yellowjackets.
The ensuing kickoff resulted in a fine 36-yard return by junior running back Olice Rodgers, giving the ’Jackets good field position at their own 46. Sharing the running duties, with quarterback Corey Watkins, who contributed a big 10-yard gain and aided by Rodgers’ four yard rush, B. Watkins and Dennis teamed up to bring the ball all the way down to the Indians’ two where B. Watkins crashed in for his second touchdown of the evening.
Kicker Forrest Summerhill added the second of his perfect 6-of-6 PAT attempts, making the score 14-6 with 8:34 left in the half.
The following series ended suddenly, as on the second play, Dennis picked off the interception as it bounced off the hands of the Indians’ receiver.
The series did not start well for the ’Jackets as a 15-yard penalty was assessed on the first play from scrimmage, moving the ball back to the Kemp 39. But the Yellowjackets were up to the task.
Litts then rushed for 9 and 21 yards to give the Yellowjackets new life with a first down at the Grand Saline 31.
Following three more plays, two rushes by B. Watkins and one by C. Watkins, quarterback C. Watkins hit junior wide receiver Kolton Hill for the 19-yard touchdown strike.
With 4:40 remaining ion the half, the Yellowjackets found themselves with their first two score lead of the season, 21-6.
Quarterback Truett contributed a big 32-yard run only to see the series die, as Yellowjacket defensive back Litts jumped the route for an interception in the end zone.
Starting from the 20, the Yellowjackets displayed their versatility. A run by Braxton Allison for 20 moved the ball all the way up to the 46.
A couple of plays later, C. Watkins hit Dennis on the fly for a spectacular 36-yard catch and run for a touchdown.
With 1:09 left in the quarter and having scored on each of their first four possessions, it looked like the ’Jackets had the game in hand 28-6.
Still not convinced, Grand Saline showed they have a strong running game as they moved all the way to the 40 before Hill picked Truett’s pass with 10 seconds on the clock to end the threat.
The second half opened with Litts return of 37-yards to again, give Kemp decent field position at the 37.
The drive stalled and the snap from center went awry, as Grand Saline recovered at the Kemp 32.
From there they moved to the 20, where Truett’s fourth down pass was well defended in the end zone to turn the ball over to Kemp with 6:53 left in the third quarter.
B. Watkins opened the drive with a crashing gain for five followed by a tremendous display of speed and will as Litts broke free to add 48 yards to the ’Jackets’ 466 total offensive yards from scrimmage on the evening.
B. Watkins, Dennis, C, Watkins and Allison shared running duties to set Allison up for the one-yard touchdown run with 3:36 left in the quarter. Grand Saline began the next possession from the 20.
Mixing runs and passes, they moved all the way down the field to 21, where, on the last play of the quarter, Tollison broke free for the touchdown. Latta’s PAT was good and the fourth quarter opened with the score 35-13.
Starting from the Grand Saline 48, Kemp’s march down the field ended on a seven-yard touchdown strike from C. Watkins to Allison to put the ’Jackets ahead, 42-13 with 8:13 remaining.
Grand Saline quickly responded with a 64-yard drive of their own, which culminated with a 10-yard touchdown scramble by Truett to end the scoring for the game.
“We thought going in we could move the ball against Grand Saline, and we did,” Kemp head coach Greg Anderson said.
Kemp’s passing game was efficient, and the Yellowjacket offensive line gave plenty of protection.
“Our offensive line did an excellent job, and Blake (Watkins) had a good night running the ball.”
Although the season didn’t pan out the way Anderson had looked forward to, between the injuries and setbacks a lot of young players got valuable varsity experience that will be good next season.
Anderson was also excited to see how his team handled adversity and hard times.
“I’m proud of the fact that we worked through a lot on injuries. They went out every day ready to work,” he said.