By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN
MALAKOFF — The Kemp Yellowjackets kept their district record perfect Friday night, beating the Malakoff Tigers 22-20 to end the regular season.
The key play came with less than two minutes left when, with the score tied 20-20 and Malakoff lining up for an extra point to take its first lead of the game, a Kemp player leaped over the Malakoff line to block the kick. The ball was tracked down by Yellowjacket Jaise Bowie and returned 78 yards for a Kemp 2-point conversion.
It was a game of big plays, big penalties, injuries, shifting momentum and an unmistakable undertone of animosity.
As always, here are my 10 Observations and Game Balls.
— Let’s deal with the blocked extra point right up front. The Malakoff sideline and stands were upset a flag wasn’t thrown for a Kemp player leaping over the Tiger center. I spoke briefly with the referee after the game and he said the Kemp player jumped through a gap in the line and that is legal, so that is why there was no flag. Either way, you have to give credit to Yellowjacket Jaise Bowie for making a big play when it looked like Malakoff was going to complete a most improbable comeback.