- Special Sections
- Public Notices
By GOOSE LINDSAY
Kingston’s hopes of winning the 2008 Region 2-AAA regular season championship came to a close Friday night as Knoxville Catholic drove 95 yards for a touchdown in the final three minutes and then added the two-point conversion for an 8-7 victory for the Irish.
The news, however, wasn’t all bad for the Jackets as Vic king’s squad did clinch a postseason berth and could still finish as high as second in the Region 2-AAA standings. Kingston (7-2, 4-2) plays at Austin-East (7-2, 5-1) Friday night with the winner earning the No.2 seed and home field advantage for the upcom-ing TSSAA Class AAA playoffs.
A Jacket loss at Austin-East would leave Kingston as the No. 4 seed in Region 2-AAA and that would mean a road game against the Region 1-AAA champion in the first round of the playoffs.
Kingston started strong Friday as the Jackets opened the evening with an eight-play, 64-yard scoring drive. Senior FB Alex Roberts got the drive started with a 42-yard run and he finished the drive with a two-yard plunge.
Andy Spellman added the extra point to give the Jackets the early 7-0 lead.
That, however, would be how the score remained until late in the contest.
The Jackets would have two more possessions in the first half.
The first drive lasted 11 plays and covered 50 yards, but the drive stalled at the Irish 35 as the Jackets were forced to punt.
Kingston’s final drive of the half was a three-and-out.
Catholic also had three possessions in the first half, but the Irish didn’t have much success moving the ball as Mark Pemberton’s squad ran just 17 plays and three first downs in the first two quarters of play. Catholic’s final drive of the half ended in a Nathan Ladd interception.
The second half would see the Irish pick up the pace on offense, but the Jackets defense managed to keep Catholic out of the end zone.
Catholic’s first drive of the half would see the Irish drive all the way from their own 31 to the Kingston 11 before a Jacket sack and an Irish penalty helped kill the drive.
Catholic, however, got the ball back quickly as Kingston fumbled the ball away on their next possession with the Irish taking over at the Jacket 41.
Catholic followed by again marching into the red zone, but they would again come up empty as Kingston stopped the Irish at the six on fourth down.
At this point, the Jackets needed a drive to flip the field position and eat up some clock and that’s just what they did.
Starting from the six, Kingston’s RB duo of James Sams and Brad Riddick combined for 12 straight carries as the Jackets took 8:36 off the fourth quarter clock in driving from their own six to the Irish 30.
Kingston, however, couldn’t run out the clock as the Irish intercepted a fourth down pass at the five with 3:15 left to play.
Heading into the drive, Kingston varsity defense had given up just two scoring drives on the year of more than 40 yards. Drive No. 3, however, would be a bitter pill to swallow.
The Irish got things going with a 21-yard pass from Tyler Williamson to Spencer Mackle then Cody Shirley added a 26-yard run as the Irish were in business.
Dorian Cozart capped the eight-play scoring drive with a four-yard run then the Irish rolled the dice and went for two.
A delay penalty back the Irish back to the eight on the conversion try, but the penalty didn’t matter as Williamson hooked up with Jordan Howanwitz for the game-winning conversion.
Kingston wouldn’t get a chance to answer as the Jackets fumbled away the ensuing kickoff.
Catholic (9-0, 6-0) wrapped up the region championship with the victory.
Rushing- Sams 14-64, Riddick 11-53, Roberts 9-63 with 1 TD, Francis 2-(-3).
Passing- Francis 1-2 for 24 yards with 1 INT.
Receiving- Phillips 1-24.