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Sometimes the other team is simply better.
That was the case Thursday night as Blair Harrison’s Kingston Yellow Jackets suffered a 56-0 loss at the hands of Alcoa.
Alcoa entered the game ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 3A, and the Tornadoes have won state championships in seven of the last eight seasons. Alcoa showed why they are such a traditional power as they rolled up 458 yards of total offense while holding Kingston to three first downs and 123 total yards.
“From watching film I knew coming in that they were the best team I’ve ever had to prepare for as a coach,” Jacket head coach Blair Harrison said. “We knew coming in it was going to be tough.”
Kingston did start well as they forced an Alcoa punt to start the game, but the rest of the game belonged to the Tornadoes. Alcoa would score three touchdowns in the first period and led 33-0 by halftime.
Alcoa’s first score came on a trick play as RB Jaquez Tyson tossed a 30-yard halfback pass to Kenny Dean to give the Tornadoes a 7-0 lead with 6:35 left in the first period.
The Tornadoes second scoring drive was quick as Tornado QB Peyton Wall tossed a 49-yard scoring pass to Malik Love to cap a two-play, 62-yard drive.
Kingston’s only turnover of the night set up a two-yard run from Tyson that capped a six-play, 28-yard drive to make the score 21-0 with 1:31 left in the second quarter.
Alcoa scored twice in the second quarter, once on a one-yard run from Landon Turbyfill and once on a two-yard run from Tyson to make the score 33-0 at halftime.
The second half was more of the same as the Tornadoes added three TDs and a safety to their total.
The first TD was an 11-yard pass from Wall to Dean. The final two scores came from backup QB Mitchell McClurg. McClurg scored once on a 74-yard run and he also tossed a 13-yard touchdown pass.
Most of Kingston’s 123 yards came on the ground as the Jackets ran the ball 33 times for 119 yards. Rhett Jones led the way with 41 yards on six attempts while Brody Roberts and Malcolm Lane added 26 yards each.
There was an ugly incident in the second quarter when Kingston freshman Preston Edmonds was slammed to the turf by Alcoa’s Braylon Thomas. Edmonds was injured on the play, and Coach Harrison was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after speaking with the head official about the play.
The play also led to some Kingston fans voicing their displeasure about the play, and some of those fans were ejected.
Harrison had no comment about the play, but the injury to Edmonds was just one of several suffered by the Jackets on the night and those injuries have Harrison concerned entering the final month of the season.
“I’m not as much concerned about the score tonight as I am about the injuries we have right now,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of injuries right now. I don’t want to use that as an excuse, but we’re banged up.”
With the loss, Kingston drops to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in District 4-AA. The Jackets have also lost two games in a row after a 5-0 start.
The Jackets will look to get back on track Friday night at 7:30 p.m. when they host McMinn Central for homecoming.
“It’s a big game and it’s not just because it’s homecoming,” Harrison said. “We’ve got to get this thing back on track. They played us tough last year from the quarter I’ve watched on film so far, and they return a lot of players.”
Rushing- Jones 6-41, Roberts 11-26, Lane 9-26, Kitts 5-22, Edmonds 1-(-2), Malenovsky 1-(-4).
Passing- Malenovsky 1-5 for 4 yards.
Receiving- Acosta 1-4.