Kingston flies past Jets in overtime, 35-28

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By Goose Lindsay

Under TSSAA's new playoff format that was introduced a year ago, non district games are more important than ever as a team's overall record plays a larger role in making the playoffs and determining their seed once the postseason begins.

The Kingston Yellow Jackets picked up a huge non district win Friday night as Vic King's squad downed Cumberland County in overtime, 35-28.

With the victory, Kingston improves to 6-3 overall and is almost a lock to make the TSSAA Class AAA playoffs that begin on Friday, Nov. 5.

Friday's victory was anything but easy, however, as the Jackets had to rally from eight points down at halftime and then had to rally again in overtime after the Jets had tied the game on the last play of regulation.

Early on it looked as if the Jackets would have no trouble moving the ball and scoring points against the Jets.

Kingston opened the game on offense and drove inside the Cumberland County 10 before a penalty and fumble killed the drive.

Although Kingston was turned away on their first possession, they would not be denied on their second drive as on their first play following a Jet punt, Jacket QB Darren Mossing hooked up with Woody Thompson for a 45-yard score.

Andy Spellman added the PAT to make the score 7-0 with 6:10 left in the first quarter.

The lead didn't last long, though as Cumberland County's Terryl Bowen capped a 2-play, 70-yard drive with a 66-yard run that made the score 7-7 with 5:08 left in the first quarter.

Kingston would regain the lead on their next possession as the Jackets marched 60 yards in nine plays before Coty Groves scored from one yard out to make the score 13-7 with 1:41 left in the first quarter.

Kingston's PAT was no good.

The Jackets lead lasted all of 14 seconds, however, as Cumberland County's Tyler Howard returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards to give the Jets a 14-13 lead with 1:27 left in the first period.

The offensive fireworks slowed for the next few minutes, but the Jets would add to their lead with 4:18 left in the opening half as Bowen capped a 9-play, 58-yard drive with a 10-yard run that made the score 21-13.

The Jackets seemed poised to answer and take the momentum into the locker room at halftime as they marched all the way from their own 28 to the Cumberland County one yard line, but Groves would be stopped short of the goal line on two straight plays from there as the Jets took the eight-point lead into intermission.

Kingston's special teams made the first big play of the second half as Robbie Szozda returned a Cumberland County punt 80 yards for a touchdown. Mossing then hit Aaron Fielden for the two-point conversion that tied the score at 21 with 8:29 left in the third quarter.

The game remain deadlocked until Kingston took the lead on their first drive of the fourth quarter.

Starting from their own 41 with 10:26 left to play, the Jackets marched 59 yards in 11 plays with Groves scoring on a 6-yard run.

Spellman added the PAT to give the Jackets a 28-21 lead with 5:05 left to play.

The 5:05 left on the clock proved just enough time for the Jets to drive 75 yards in 13 plays to tie the score and send the game to overtime. Bowen scored the touchdown on a 2-yard run on the final play of regulation.

Kingston got the ball first and needed only two plays to score as Mossing found Szozda for seven yards out.

Spellman added the PAT to make the score 35-28.

Cumberland County's worst drive of the night came in overtime as the Jets lost 15 yards on a penalty before Bowen was dropped two times a row in his own backfield. The Jets would complete a pass on fourth down, but the were stopped well short of the goal line.

Cumberland County ended the evening with 341 yards of offense on 54 plays. Bowen led the attack with 185 yards rushing and three TDs to go along with 89 yards passing.

Kingston countered with 351 yards of total offense on 55 plays.

Mossing completed 9 of 19 passes on the night for 116 yards and two TDs. Darian Sams led the ground attack with 89 yards on 11 carries while Groves added 86 yards and two TDs on 17 rushes.

Kingston closes out the regular season next week against Loudon.

Kingston Statistics

Rushing- Groves 17-86 with 2 TDs, Sams 11-89, Fielden 7-52, Mossing 1-8.

Passing- Mossing 9-19 for 116 yards with 2 TDs.

 Receiving- Thompson 3-63 with 1 TD, Szozda 3-27 with 1 TD, Groves 1-17, Jones 1-15, Sams 1-(-6).