The one-two punch of D. J. Kirven and Antwone Parker combined to lead Kennedale in a rout of Brownwood, 58-20, Thursday at Tiger Stadium in Class 4A bi-district round playoff action. In Parker’s case, the senior also shined on defense.
Kirven rushed for 128 yards on 14 carries and four touchdowns. Parker had 51 yards on 10 rushes and the first two touchdowns of the game.
After being denied on their initial possession, the Wildcats (9-2) scored the next four times they had the ball for a 28-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Defensively, the Wildcats held Brownwood (4-6) to negative 11 yards and one first down, which came on a penalty, in the first half. Quarterback Tommy Bowden was pressured throughout and sacked eight times in the game. It appeared Kennedale began substituting reserves midway in the second half.
Because Kennedale did so well on defense, it forced the Lions to punt from deep in their own territory. Hence, five touchdown drives, four in the first half alone, began at either the 50-yard line or less.
The first touchdown began at the 50-yard line after J.D. Coffey returned a punt 29 yards. Four plays later, Parker scored from 22 yards out.
On the ensuing kickoff, Parker ripped the ball out of the returner’s hand after he was stood up and gang-tackled at his 5-yard line. Parker was rewarded by sweeping for the touchdown on the following play. The touchdown came only 16 seconds after the first.
The third touchdown came after it looked like the Brownwood defense would hold the Wildcats short of a score. But on third-and-10, Jaden Smith caught Evan Jewers unnderthrown pass after the defender fell down for a 33-yard gain to the Brownwood 11-yard line. Two plays later, Kirvin scored from the 10.
Play of the game: Parker’s strip of the kickoff returner.
Offensive player of the game: D.J. Kervin.
Defensive player of the game: In addition to a strip and the subsequent fumble recovery, Parker also had an interception. Teammate Ethan Bishop contributed two points with a safety when he tackled the quarterback in the end zone in the second quarter.
What’s next? Kennedale faces Paris in the second round at a place and time to be determined.