10 Observations from Malakoff’s 22-20 loss to Kemp

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.

File photo

— 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.

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10 Observations: Athens rolls to 50-29 win over Quinlan Ford

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

The Athens Hornets pushed their record to 4-3, 2-1 Friday night with a runaway 50-29 win over Quinlan Ford.

Athens jumped out to 14-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back to the delight of the large crowd on hand for homecoming.

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Malakoff rides defense to 21-10 win over Spring Hill

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

MALAKOFF — The Malakoff Tigers have shown that they can win by lighting up the scoreboard, but Friday night they showed they can also win on grit.

The Tigers (3-1) toughed out a 21-10 homecoming win over Spring Hill (2-3) by leaning on its defense and getting just enough plays from its short-handed offense.

Except for a single breakdown in the fourth quarter when Spring Hill connected on a 63-yard touchdown pass, the Tigers defense shut down the Panthers. Malakoff held Spring Hill to just three first downs in the first half and just eight overall.

According to my unofficial stats, the Tigers held Spring Hill to under 200 yards of total offense. Half the Panthers’ yards came on three pass plays of 63, 23, and 15 in the fourth quarter.

The Malakoff defensive front seven has been stout all year and it was no different in this game. The Tigers came up with three sacks on the night, including a huge one by Caleb Adams late in the fourth quarter with Malakoff nursing a four-point lead.

Offensively, young players stepped up for the Tigers. Malakoff was led by sophomore quarterback Darion Peace, who rushed 22 times for 153 yards and two touchdowns of 7 and 30 yards, plus added a 43-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Nathan Jones.

Jones had five catches for 59 yards on the night. Peace could have had better stats throwing, but the Tiger receivers struggled with drops Friday.

The other workhorse for the Tigers Friday was junior running back Keevie Rose, who carried 16 times for 121 yards.

Freshman Duce Hart pitched in with 24 yards on seven carries.

Malakoff will have next Friday night off before getting back to work Friday, Oct. 12, on the road at Dallas Life Oak Cliff.