Kennett quarterback Harold Weeden is chased by Charleston's Deon Cherry. Weeden started his first game of the season in the quartback position Friday night against Charleston. [Order this photo]
"We had a lot of guys out tonight," Kennett coach Corey Adkisson said. "We had some guys that had to step in and play some different spots they hadn't played in this year and they picked it up. That's what we have got to have to get to being a better program. When we have guys out with injuries we've got to have people step right in there. We had some younger guys that were able to do that and we feel like maybe we have a little more depth than we thought we had at one point. Hopefully, we will get better moving forward."
Kennett never led its Week 6 contest against Charleston, but trailed by only 12 points with 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Charleston ground attack proved pivotal throughout the game as the Bluejays had a rushing touchdown in every quarter and rushed the ball for over 400 yards on its way to a 48-28 road win at Kennett.
"I thought Kennett came out and played a hard game," Charleston coach Brett Blackman said. "They made us dig deep into our play book. I thought we played well up front. Our backs ran the ball extremely hard tonight. We had some mistakes on defense we need to fix and Kennett took advantage of those mistakes tonight. We tried to stretch it out, but Kennett stuck around until the end."
Kennett's Tom Edgington (left) and Akeem Nelson right chase after Charleston's Rontavious Clark. [Order this photo]
Harold Weeden served as quarterback in Wallace's absence. Weeden threw for one touchdown and ran for another against Charleston. Weeden was 9 of 17 passing for 97 yards and rushed the ball 20 times for 125 yards.
"He has a back issue," Adkisson said, referring to Wallace's injury. "He toughed it out last week and just couldn't go this week. Harold stepped in there. He was our backup guy and in competition this summer for the starting job. He stepped in there and made some mistakes just like all of us do, but he did make some scores and kept the offense moving."
Five different backs combined for Charleston's 437-yard rushing total.
"It's kind of tough," Adkisson said, when asked about defending Charleston. "They utilize mainly the double-tight and double-wing formations. They are really good at that.
"We saw quite often in the games on film we watched Charleston went to the spread," Adkisson continued. "They went to it some early tonight, but ran the ball hard in the double-tight and double-wing formations. They've got some good linemen and big backs. It's tough to defend. Charleston does a good job with what they do."
Charleston's Robert Bogan had a team-high 17 carries for 181 yards and ran for four touchdowns.
The Bluejays' Rontavious Clark had 15 carries for 147 yards. Charleston's Deiontrail Winston had 15 carries for 69 yards. Clark and Winston both rushed for one touchdown.
"We have a lot of backs," Blackman said. "We didn't use them all. We didn't get the Demontrail Clark kid in tonight and we have a set he is really good at. We did not run Mike Hull because we didn't utilize our spread offense tonight like we did earlier in the year. We felt like we could just stick it in tight. I think we had to punt two or three times so we felt like we did what we needed to do to keep us in the game and keep Kennett off the field."
Kennett and Charleston both scored once in the first quarter. The game was tied at six after the first period before back-to-back touchdowns gave Charleston a 20-6 lead with 7:17 left in the first half.
Weeden connected with Kennett's Akeem Nelson for a 29-yard touchdown pass with 5:42 left in the first half to trim Charleston's lead to 20-12.
Clark ran the ball 30 yards for a touchdown on Charleston's next possession to push the Bluejays lead to 28-12 with 4:10 left in the second period.
Kennett had an opportunity to cut Charleston's lead to one possession with less than 90 seconds left in the half after Charleston turned the ball over on downs on its own 5-yard line following a bad snap on an attempted punt. Kennett moved the ball to the 1-yard line before turning the ball over on downs with 14 seconds left in the first half.
"That's a big stop for us," Blackman said. "Our backs were against the wall and we needed to rise up there. Anytime you get a stop near the goaline it is a big stop."
Kennett outscored Charleston 8-6 in the third quarter. The Indians trailed 34-20 entering the fourth period. Kennett got as close as 40-28 with 10:01 left in the game following an 80-yard touchdown run by Darius Warren, but failed to score following Warren's breakout run.
"We tried to make some adjustments at halftime," Adkisson said of the second half. "We had better blocking up front the second half. The red zone was the thing that really hurt us tonight. When we get inside the 20 we've got to find a way to punch it in and we just didn't tonight. That's something we have to improve on."
Kennett (0-6) is back in action Friday when it hosts Caruthersville on Homecoming at Metz Cherry Stadium. Caruthersville (4-1) did not schedule a Week 6 game. Caruthersville is ranked No. 6 in the latest Class 2 state poll.
"It's going to be a tough game," Adkisson said of playing Caruthersville. "We are going to prepare our tails off and try to get better. We are going to do our best, play as hard as we can and see what happens."
Charleston 48, Kennett 28
CHS 6 22 6 14 - 48
KHS 6 6 8 8 - 28
C - Robert Bogan 3 run (two-point conversion no good), 9:23
K - Darius Warren 1 run (Bud Hilburn kick no good), 1:49
C - Bogan 10 run (two-point conversion no good), 11:04
C - Deiontrail Winston 3 run (two-point conversion good), 7:17
K - Harold Weeden 29 pass to Akeem Nelson (Hilburn kick no good), 5:42
C - Rontravious Clark 30 run (two-point conversion good), 4:10
C - Bogan 3 run (two-point conversion no good), 7:48
K - Weeden 1 pass to Nelson (two-point conversion good), 2:48
C - Bogan 21 run (two-point conversion no good), 10:13
K - Warren 80 run (two-point conversion good), 10:01
C - Bogan 30 run (two-point conversion good), 3:38
Rushing - Kennett: Harold Weeden 20-125, Darius Warren 22-178, Akeem Nelson 2-0. Charleston: Delfinko Bogan 2-39, Deiontrail Winston 15-69, Robert Bogan 17-181, Rontavious Clark 15-147, Mike Hull 1-1.
Passing - Kennett: Harold Weeden 9-17-1. Charleston: Mike Hull 3-4-0
Receiving - Kennett: Ridge Diffine 3-22, Cameron Harper 2-32, Akeem Nelson 3-38, Bron McPherson 1-5. Charleston: Austin Hailey 1-17, Darrion Carter 1-23, Deiontrail Winston 1-12.
Kennett's Jenny Lockhert twirls fire at halftime of the Kennett-Charleston football game Friday. [Order this photo]