Balanced Jackets tame Panthers, 28-7

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By Goose Lindsay

The Kingston Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 21-0 lead Friday night and the rest was history as Vic King's squad cruised to a 28-7 victory over Stone Memorial in a District 4-AA contest at Dr. Nat Sugarman Memorial Field in Kingston.

Friday's victory runs Kingston's season record to a perfect 5-0 and the Jackets are currently tied with Alcoa and Christian Academy of Knoxvile atop the District 4-AA standings with a 2-0 record.

A balanced offense was the key to Kingston's victory Friday night as the Jackets amassed 215 yards passing on the night while adding 187 yards on the ground.

QB Preston King had his best night of the season under center as the senior signal caller completed 9 of 11 passes on the night for 149 yards and 1 TD. WR Robbie Szozda also got in on the act as he completed a pass to Aaron Fielden on Kingston's first play of the second half for a 66-yard touchdown.

Kingston welcomed back senior FB Demarcus Foster Friday and Foster led the Jackets on the ground with 89 yards rushing and 2 TDs on 17 carries. Darian Sams added 87 yards rushing on six attempts.

Kingston's offense did need a drive to get started as the game started with both defenses forcing punts.

Kingston, however, came away with great field position after the Panther punt and the Jackets took advantage by marching 48 yards in five plays for the game's first touchdown.

Foster scored the touchdown on an 11-yard run and Riley Collins added the PAT to give the Jackets a 7-0 lead with 3:11 remaining in the first quarter.

King was a perfect 2-for-2 in the drive for 24 yards.

Stone Memorial threatened to tie the game on their ensuing possession as they drove all the way to the Jacket 11 yard line, but three straight incomplete passes ended the drive as Kingston took over on downs.

Kingston's offense remained hot on their next possession as the Jackets drove 89 yards in eight plays for another touchdown.

Sams got the drive started on the right foot as he raced 49 yards then King finished the drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Fielden that made the score 14-0 with 8:01 left to play in the first half.

Kingston threatened to put the game away early on their next possession as the Jackets drove 61 yards in seven plays to take a 21-0 lead with 2:46 left in the first half.

Foster scored the touchdown on a 4-yard run.

A 31-yard pass from King to Szozda helped set up the score.

While Kingston dominated most of the first half, it would be the Panthers that took the momentum into the locker room at halftime.

Stone Memorial ended the half with an 8-play, 87-yard drive that ended with QB Dustin Dishman scoring on a run of 10 yards to make the score 21-7 with 39 seconds left in the opening half.

Dishman ended the night with 170 yards rushing on 18 carries.

As a team, Stone Memorial ended the night with 311 yards of offense on 60 snaps.

Whatever momentum the Panthers had at intermission ended early in the third quarter.

Stone Memorial opened the second half on offense, but punted after three plays then Kingston got tricky as Szozda fired a 66-yard pass to Fielden for a touchdown that made the score 28-7 with 10:34 left in the third quarter.

Neither team scored after that, but it wasn't as easy as it seemed for Kingston's defense as Stone Memorial's final three drives of the night all ended inside Kingston's 10 yard line.

Following Kingston's score, the Panthers drove all the way to the 6 yard line, but couldn't cross the goal line as Kingston took over on downs.

The Panthers then put together a 6-play, 47-yard drive that again had them knocking at the door, but Kingston's Fielden intercepted a Dishman pass at the 9 to end the drive.

Stone Memorial's final drive of the night got as close as the Kingston 1 yard lined before the Jackets stiffened and took over on downs.

Kingston did have one more solid drive in the second half as the Jackets put together a 10-play, 77-yard drive that pushed into the Panthers red zone, but like Stone Memorial, the Jackets would turn the ball over on downs.

A 33-yard run by Sams and a 28-yard pass from King to Szozda highlighted the drive.

Kingston (5-0) will look to keep their perfect season alive Friday night when they host rival Lenoir City (2-2) at Dr. Nat Sugarman Memorial Field. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Kingston Statistics

Rushing- Foster 17-89 with 2 TDs, Sams 6-87, Akers 4-16, King 2-(-9), Fielden 1-6, Team 1-(-2).

Passing- King 9-11 for 149 yards with 1 TD, Szozda 1-1 for 66 yards with 1 TD.

Receiving- Szozda 5-85, Fielden 4-118 with 2 TDs, Jones 1-12.