GLEN ROSE — The Brownwood Lions’ 2018 football campaign reached its conclusion Thursday night following a fourth consecutive defeat, as the Kennedale Wildcats controlled the contest from start to finish, 58-20, in Class 4A Division I Region II bi-district playoff action.
The Lions’ recent trend of allowing in the neighborhood of 50 points per game and losing the turnover battle continued in the season finale. After surrendering the final 31 points in their regular season finale to China Spring last week, the Lions (4-6) yielded the first 51 to Kennedale (9-2) Thursday night, aided by a pair of first-half turnovers.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 37-0 halftime lead as seven of their eight possessions started at midfield or better, with an average starting point of the Lion 41. Brownwood, meanwhile, finished with -11 yards in the first half and one first down — that coming on an offsides penalty.
“Kennedale was the better football team tonight and controlled the offensive and defensive lines for the most part,” said Lions first-year head coach Sammy Burnett. “They pinned us deep on kickoffs and we weren’t able to move the ball on the ground and had trouble getting rid of the ball, so we were limited in our passing because everything had to be quick. Our kids did the best they could, Kennedale’s a good football team and they got us tonight.”
At the moment Kennedale’s lead reached its high point of 51 points with 5:56 left in the third period, the Lions were stuck at -15 yards of total offense. On the ensuing possession, Brownwood converted its initial first down without the assist of a penalty on a 13-yard strike from Tommy Bowden to Zach Strong at the 4:39 mark of third, which triggered an 89-yard, 11-play touchdown drive. Joseph Johnson capped the drive by scoring on a 45-yard draw play that put the Lions on the board with 25 seconds to go in the quarter.
The Lions were able to generate 132 total yards — 99 through the air and 33 on the ground — and tack on two additional touchdowns in the fourth quarter on Tommy Bowden passes of 22 yards to Braden Jetton and 5 yards to A.J. McCarty — the last occurring with 24 seconds remaining.
Kennedale amassed 379 total yards, with 251 coming on the ground, as D.J. Kirven led the assault with 122 yards and four touchdowns. Antwone Parker chipped in 48 yards and two more scores, while quarterback Evan Jowers completed 3 of 6 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown.
The Wildcats forced two Brownwood turnovers — including a fumble recovery at the Lion 5 that led to Kennedale’s second touchdown. Kennedale also picked up two points on a safety of Bowden midway through the second period, as the Lions’ leading rusher finished with -27 yards on 13 carries.
Through the air, Bowden completed 14 of 28 passes for 99 yards and one interception, with McCarty grabbing seven catches for 22 yards, while Jetton’s 42 receiving yards on just two grabs were a team-best.
Kennedale opened the scoring with a 22-yard run by Parker at 4:37 of the first, capping a 50-yard drive in four plays. Brownwood fumbled the ensuing kickoff at its own 5, and Parker scored on the next snap to push the lead to 14-0 at 4:21 of the first.
The Wildcats added a third touchdown in the opening period on Kirven’s first score from 10 yards out, as Kennedale opened a 21-0 lead with 25 seconds to go in the stanza.
Carrington Roblow caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from Jowers, Darrian Scott tackled Bowden in the end zone and Kirven scored again from 26 yards out to extend Kennedale’s lead to 37-0 at the break.
In the third quarter, Kirven added touchdown carries of 10 and 18 yards, while Wali Latifi contributed the final Wildcat points with 10:23 left in the contest.
Kennedale will move on to face with Paris (7-2) or Dallas Carter (6-4) in the area round next week.
Looking back on his first season as head coach as his alma mater, Burnett said, “ We had great leadership from our seniors, Tommy Bowden No. 1, and they never quit. I tip my hat to them because I’ve been at a lot of places and a first-year program never had the senior class buy in like this, and it’s simply because they’re Brownwood and they understand what that means. They did everything in their power to perform. Having a third head coach in four years is hard for them, but we wouldn’t have had any of the success that we did if it wasn’t for them.”
SCORE BY QUARTER
Kennedale 21 16 14 7 - 58
Brownwood 0 0 6 14 - 20
K: Antwone Parker 22 run (Craig Shue kick), 4:37, 1st
K: Parker 5 run (Shue kick), 4;21, 1st
K: D.J. Kirven 10 run (Shue kick), 0:25, 1st
K: Carrington Roblow 56 pass from Evan Jowers (Shue kick), 10:24, 2nd
K: Safety - Tommy Bowden tackled in the end zone by Darrian Scott, 7:46, 2nd
K: Kirven 26 run (Shue kick), 6:48, 2nd
K: Kirven 10 run (Shue kick), 8:00, 3rd
K: Kirven 18 run (Shue kick), 5:56, 3rd
B: Joseph Johnson 45 run (kick failed), 0:49, 3rd
K: Wali Latifi 10 run (Shue kick), 10:23, 4th
B: Braden Jetton 22 pass from Bowden (A.J. McCarty pass from Bowden), 2:52, 4th
B: McCarty 5 pass from Bowden (run failed), 0:24, 4th
First Downs 17 10
Total Offense 379 132
Rushing Yards 41-251 23-33
Passing Yards 128 99
C-A-I 3-6-0 14-28-1
Fumbles Lost 0 1
Punts 2-28.5 6-31.3
Penalties 5-50 3-15
K: D.J. Kirven 14-122, Antwone Parker 8-48.
B: Joseph Johnson 4-48, Royshad Henderson 4-7, Khyren Deal 1-3, Reece Rodgers 1-2, Tommy Bowden 13-(-27).
K: Evan Jowers 3-6-0-128.
B: Bowden 14-28-1-99.
K: Carrington Roblow 1-56, Kirven 1-39, Jayden Smith 1-33.
B: A.J. McCarty 7-22, Braden Jetton 2-42, Ben Kallman 2-17, Rodgers 2-5, Zach Strong 1-13,