Kennett quarterback Declan Wallace is rushed by a Paragould defender. [Order this photo]
PARAGOULD, Ark. - The Kennett Indians football team calculated a season-high 27 points Friday night against the Paragould Rams but was unable to slow down its opponent's ground attack enough to secure its first win of the 2012 season.
Paragould (1-2) rushed the ball for 450 yards and scored on seven of its eight offensive possessions on its way to a 48-27 win against Kennett.
"Defensively we struggled," Kennett football coach Corey Adkisson said. "When you cannot get a stop they are going to score points. We weren't very strong at the point of attack and they kind of moved us on the line of scrimmage. They had long, sustained drives. We tried to make adjustments. It just boils down to we just didn't make the plays we needed to.
"I thought at times we executed pretty well offensively," Adkisson continued. "We have got to get more consistent with what we are doing offensively and defensively .We will see flashes of doing pretty well and then we will do the wrong thing for two plays. Offensively, we had two possessions in the red zone in the first half where we didn't come up with points I believe. Good teams score there. When we get in the red zone we have to score."
Kennett linebackers look toward the sideline before a play. [Order this photo]
Kennett's Akeem Nelson had four receptions for a team-high 116 yards. He had one touchdown reception.
"Akeem is a freshman," Adkisson said. "He's been a playmaker on the junior varsity. We are trying to find a way to get him the ball. We threw the ball right to him tonight and he did a good job. He made a few mistakes, but there are going to be growing pains when you are playing freshmen in big spots."
Paragould's Dylan Hoggard had 34 carries for 212 yards and rushed the ball into the end zone three times. The Rams' Jordan Sayre had 22 rushes for 182 yards and scored two touchdowns.
Kennett never led the Rams. Paragould jumped out to an early 8-0 lead with 6:30 remaining in the first quarter when it put together an 84-yard touchdown drive on its first offensive possession of the game.
The Indians responded 16 seconds later when Wallace rushed the ball 66 yards for a touchdown. A successful two-point conversion pass to Cameron Harper tied the game at 8-8.
The Rams put together touchdown drives of 86 yards, 89 yards and 80 yards in its next three offensive possessions to take a 28-8 lead with 50 seconds remaining in the first half.
Kennett pushed the ball from midfield and into the end zone on its final drive of the first half. The drive started with 50 seconds remaining in the second quarter and ended with Wallace rushing the ball into the end zone from the Rams' 4-yard-line on the final play of the half. Bud Hilburn's successful extra point trimmed Paragould's lead to 28-15 at halftime.
"Our clock management was good with the kids getting back on the line of scrimmage," Adkisson said of his team's final offensive drive of the half. "Our kids knew what to do. The only way we score there is if we have good clock management and execute. You can see what we are capable of when we execute. We've just got to get more consistent."
Paragould scored the first two touchdowns of the second half to increase its lead to 42-15. Wallace threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Nelson with 36 seconds remaining in the third quarter trim the deficit to 42-21.
Kennett's Darius Warren had a two-yard touchdown run to account for the Indians only score in the fourth period. Paragould also scored once more in the fourth quarter.
Kennett (0-4) will play at Dexter (0-4) on Friday. Caruthersville defeated Dexter 35-7 in its Week 4 contest.
"Dexter is in the same boat as we are in," Adkisson said. "I know it is going to be a tough game. Dexter is a good opponent and they have a good program. I know they are kind of down right now, but they are going to be ready to play next week. Coach Pixley and that staff do a great job. We've got to match their intensity and work hard this week to get better. Hopefully, we will have a chance to win that game."
KHS 8 7 6 6 - 27
PHS 14 14 14 6 - 48
P - Dylan Hoggard 3 run (two-point conversion good), 8-0 P 6:30
K - Declan Wallace 66 run (two-point conversion good), 8-8 6:14
P - Michael Stidham 12 pass to Dexter Thompson (two-point conversion no good), 14-8 P 2:50
P - Stidham 22 pass to Thompson (two-point conversion no good), 20-8 P 8:38
P - Hoggard 5 run (two-point conversion good), 28-8 P 0:50
K - Wallace 4 run (Bud Hilburn kick good), 28-15 P 0:00
P - Hoggard 2 run (Emily Guinn kick good), 35-15 P 6:47
P - Jordan Sayre 5 run (Guinn kick good), 42-15 P 1:21
K - Wallace 64 pass to Akeem Nelson (two-point conversion no good), 42-21 P 0:36
P - Sayre 15 run (Guinn kick no good), 48-21 P 9:19
K - Warren 2 run (Hilburn kick no good), 48-27 P 4:48
Rushing: Kennett - Declan Wallace 25-180, Darius Warren 7-17. Paragould - Dylan Hoggard 34-212, Jordan Sayre 22-182, Michael Stidham 5-44, Caleb Carner 1-12.
Passing: Kennett - Declan Wallace 9-15-0 158. Paragould - Michael Stidham 4-8-0 69
Receiving: Kennett - Bron McPherson 2-18, Akeem Nelson 4-116, Ridge Diffine 2-12, Cameron Harper 1-12. Paragould - Dexter Thompson 3-46, Kris Moss 1-23.