Kavaliers stay in front, down Vikings

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Kenston Forest School varsity football team opened its 2016 season with an emotional, thrilling victory over arch-rival Brunswick Academy in Lawrenceville.

Competition in the fiercely-contested game was made all the more difficult by sweltering heat, but the Kavaliers ultimately prevailed 34-26.

“Any time we can get a victory at our rival’s home field has to be a great day,” said Kenston Forest Coach Tom Inge.

Kenston’s line dominated the first quarter, holding the Vikings on downs in their first possession, while the Kavaliers made the most of their first time with the ball.

Paden Lawson caught a 41-yard pass from Robert Motley, and Motley scored on a one-yard run shortly thereafter. Zach Dunnavant’s kick made it 7-0 in favor of the Kavs.

On the ensuing kickoff, Elijah Warner ripped the ball away from the Brunswick ball carrier. Tyler Daniel gained 14 yards in two carries, and Warner took it across the goal line from one yard out to help make it 14-0.
In the second quarter, the weather became a factor as the Vikings claimed the momentum, putting 14 points on the board. The Kavs managed to maintain the lead, though. Their third touchdown was set up by a 41-yard catch-and-run by J.E.B. Buchanan, who received the pass from Warner. Following that, Warner took it in from one yard out, making the score 21-14 at halftime.
Unfortunately for Kenston, the momentum stayed with Brunswick for most of the third quarter. A Vikings touchdown made the score 21-20, but Tripp Jones, of the Kavaliers, stopped the Vikings’ extra point attempt a yard short, allowing his team to hold on to the slim lead.

The Kavs followed this up by holding Brunswick on downs in the Vikings’ next possession.  These two defensive series helped shift the game in favor of Kenston, which finally cranked up its offensive production.

Warner dashed around end for 22 yards, and Buchanan burst through the middle behind the blocking of Jones and Mark Smith for a 27-yard scoring run, giving the Kavaliers a 27-20 lead.

The fourth quarter opened with Warner recovering a Vikings’ fumble. Seven plays later, he scored from one yard out, Dunnavant’s kick was good and Kenston was back in front by 14 points.

The Vikings made one last surge that led to a touchdown with under two minutes left, but the Kavaliers recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.
For the game, Buchanan had 93 yards rushing and 41 receiving. Warner recovered two fumbles and scored three touchdowns. Jones led the defensive effort with nine tackles.
The Kavaliers play in their home opener Friday at 7 p.m. against Eastern Shore Home School.