Dexter quarterback DJ Dowdy is chased by Kennett's Ridge Diffine.
The Dexter Bearcats, which also entered the Week 5 contest without a win, held Kennett to just one touchdown on its way to a 26-7 victory.
"We played hard," Kennett football coach Corey Adkisson said. "Defensively, we got a little better. The first half we put our defense in tough spots. You cannot do that against a good Dexter team that is going to be able to run the ball and control the ball. Dexter was able to do some good things.
"They hit us on a play action," Adkisson continued. "We were kind of giving that up because we had to stop the run. When you give them that they are going to hit passes and we couldn't make plays on the ball when we had to. Dexter made some great catches. Dexter is a great team and we cannot give them that many snaps. You've got to get off the field in third and long situations."
Neither team scored in its first three offensive possessions of the game leaving the game tied a 0-0 when Dexter started its fourth offensive drive with 8:31 remaining in the first half.
Dexter's offense finally made its way into the end zone when it put together an 80-yard scoring drive. The drive ended with Bearcats' quarterback DJ Dowdy rushing the ball past the goal line from the Kennett 2-yard-line at the 6:56 mark of the second quarter. A successful extra-point attempt by Brad Wick after the touchdown put Dexter on top 7-0.
Both teams failed to score on their final possession of the first half. Dexter entered halftime with a 7-0 lead.
Kennett moved the ball two yards on its first possession of the second half before it punted back to the Bearcats with 11:09 left in the third quarter. Dexter put together a 72-yard scoring drive over the next two minutes that ended with a 7-yard touchdown run by Jonathan Foels with 9:07 left in the third quarter.
Kennett's Kendall Jones punts. [Order this photo]
Dexter stretched its lead back to two possessions on its first offensive play after the kickoff when Ryan Joyner rushed the ball 56 yards and into the end zone.
"That was huge," Dexter coach Arlon Pixley said of the score. "You never know how your team is going to react. You put the pressure on them and they score. Now the pressure is back on you. We had a really nice run that was well executed. That 's what we try to preach. 'Execute, play hard and play as well as you can.'
Adkisson added: "That's a big, big shift. We were kind of up right there and cut it to one score. If we get a stop right there you never know what happens after it. It's just unfortunate they got a big play on us and had good blocks outside. That was a good play on their part and we just didn't execute."
Kennett recorded just three first downs the final 16 minutes of the game following Joyner's 56-yard run.
"We were in pass defense mode pretty much the entire fourth quarter," Pixley said. "They were hitting some runs on us and kind of popping us in the mouth a little bit. I don't think our defensive linemen expected them to run the ball, but at the same time they did a good job of running it in that situation. We bent a little bit, but kept making plays and getting stops.
"That's a big boost for our confidence as a team defense," Pixley continued. "I thought everyone on defense did some really great things. This was a total team effort. Everyone on offense did a great job. I felt like the quarterback had an outstanding night for having a bad ankle. Our wide receivers, tight ends and full backs made some outstanding catches. Chase Young comes up big every week and now we've got Jonathan Page back. [Page] has got the most experience of any tight end we have and he did a good job. We also had a huge catch on the sideline by freshman Ethan Stevens that kept the clock going in our favor. I've got to make a plug for my offensive line. We are not perfect, but they played much better tonight. I think they improved. That's what we are trying to do here. Get better every week."
Dexter's final score was a 1-yard touchdown run by Dowdy with 2:08 left in the fourth quarter.
The Indians held Dexter to 376 yards of total offense. Kennett's defense allowed 26 points, which in one point lower than its previous best of 27 points it surrendered in a 27-7 Week 2 loss at Portageville.
"We worked on a lot of stuff this week to try to get better after last week," Adkisson said. "We felt like we improved. Later in the game they made some adjustments. They kind of opened it up a little bit and kind of wore us down in the second half."
Wallace was 6 of 16 passing for 51 yards and rushed the ball 20 times for 71 yards. Dowdy was 10 of 15 in the air for 206 yards.
Joyner rushed the ball 19 times for 141 yards. Kennett's Treyvon Bradford had nine carries for 31 yards.
"Trey did some good things," Adkisson said of the defense. "We were trying to work on some stuff we need to get better at. We are trying to use these guys in good spots and constantly trying to find ways to get better."
Kennett (0-5) will host Charleston (2-2) on Friday. Cleveland NJROTC will play at Charleston Saturday at 2 p.m. before Charleston travels to Kennett Friday.
"Big home game," Adkisson said. "Charleston has won a few games this year and has a pretty good season in progress. They are a conference opponent and it's going to be a tough game. They are a run first team right now and we've got to be able to stop the run and play defense. Offensively, we've got to execute better."
Dexter 26, Kennett 7
KHS 0 0 7 0 - 7
DHS 0 7 12 7 - 26
D - DJ Dowdy 2 run (Brad Wick kick good), 6:56
D - Jonathan Foels 7 run (Wick kick no good), 7:11
K - Declan Wallace 26 run (Bud Hilburn kick good), 4:44
D - Ryan Joyner 56 run (Wick kick no good), 4:26
D - Dowdy 1 run (Wick kick good), 2:08
Rushing - Kennett: Declan Wallace 20-71, Treyvon Bradford 9-29, Harold Weeden 7-15, Darius Warren 5-20, Akeem Nelson 2-17. Dexter: Ryan Joyner 19-135, 13-(-19), Chase Young 6-27, Brad Wick 2-17, Jonathan Foels 2-10.
Passing - Kennett: Declan Wallace 6-16-1, Harold Weeden 0-1-0. Dexter: DJ Dowdy 10-15-1
Receiving - Kennett: Bron McPherson 2-21, Ridge Diffine 2-24, Darius Warren 1-(-5), Akeem Nelson 1-11. Dexter: Dexter: Chase Young 5-79, Jonathan Foels 2-48, Ryan Joyner 1-38, Ethan Stevens 1-21, Jonathan Page 1-20.
Punts - Kennett: Kendall Jones 4-109. Dexter: Hunter Hayes 3-110.