Dallas Kimball running back Cortavious Smith (22) scores the winning touchdown as Dallas Kimball played Dunbar in a high school football game at Herman Clark Stadium Saturday September 01, 2018. Smith scored the last two touchdowns for Kimball. Dallas Kimball defeated Dunbar 28-26. (Special to the Star-Telegram Bob Booth)
Dallas Kimball erased a three-possession deficit late in the third quarter, scored three touchdowns in the final 13 minutes and stunned Fort Worth Dunbar in the season opener 28-26 on Saturday night at Herman Clark Stadium.
Game was over when: Cortavious Smith, who rushed for all of his 68 yards in the second half, scored on a 7-yard touchdown run with 45.1 seconds left. It was the Knights’ first lead of the game. The defense held off Dunbar, which was out of timeouts.
Play of the game: Following a Dunbar defensive touchdown by Lakeithan Tarkington that put the Wildcats up 26-7 with 41 seconds left in the third quarter, Kimball’s Victor Simon returned the ensuing kickoff 79 yards for the score. It pulled Kimball within 26-14 just before the final period started.
Offensive player of the game: Kimball running back Cortavious Smith didn’t start the game in the backfield and only had one rush for no gain in the first half. But the Knights turned to No. 22 in the second half with eight carries for 68 yards and two touchdowns. He scored on a 3-yard run with nine minutes to go that made the score 26-21.
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Defensive player of the game: With the momentum on its side, Dunbar added to its lead 26-7 after a Kimball fumble. Tarkington was there to pick it up and returned it 44 yards for the touchdown.
Unsung hero of the game: Kimball startinig quarterback Jamel McWilliams put the Knights on the board with a 1-yard run in the third, but left the game with a stinger. He returned later in the game and the offense’s dynamic changed. He finished with 91 yards rushing on 20 carries and one touchdown, and added 9 of 15 passing for 108 yards.
Moment of the game: The Wildcats had their chances to run clock off, but the Kimball defense stepped up to give the offense back the ball. Keevon Harris sacked Dunbar for a loss of 7 on third down which forced another punt. It led to Kimball’s winning TD.
Stat of the Game: Think this was the first game? The two teams combined for 26 penalties. Dunbar had 12 for 124 yards. Kimball was called for 14 penalties for 126 yards.
Big picture outlook: The Knights started 2018 on the right foot. They didn’t win until Week 5 last season.
What’s next? Dunbar travels to Dallas to take on Madison, 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 7. Kimball and Dallas Carter meet up at Kincaide Stadium, 4 p.m. on Sept. 8.
Which DFW team is going to continue playing and which is going home? There are a ton of heavyweight matchups to watch in the second round of the 2019 playoffs, so much so that it’s too difficult to pick just 10.