Kavaliers defeat Eastern Shore

Published 11:22 am Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Kenston Forest Kavaliers have opened their football season with two straight victories for the first time in 15 years.

Hosting the Eastern Shore HomeSchool Bucks on a very pleasant late summer Friday evening, the Kavs triumphed 24-20 in a closely contested game that went down to the wire.

Early on, it seemed as though the Bucks might be pulling away for a lopsided victory. By the beginning of the second quarter, they held a 13-0 lead.

But Kenston senior J.E.B. Buchanan got his team into the game when he swept around the right end of the line and broke two tackles, running 56 yards for a touchdown. The extra point by junior Zach Dunnavant cut Eastern Shore’s lead to 13-7.

Following this, both teams threatened to add to their point totals, but it was the Kavaliers who ultimately followed through. Dunnavant hit a 26-yard field goal to cap a 13-play drive, cutting the Bucks’ advantage to three points.

Two plays later, senior Jackson Taylor intercepted a Bucks pass and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown, helping give Kenston Forest a 17-13 lead.

The final quarter was filled with drama as Kenston had a long touchdown called back, and then it fumbled a short punt, giving the Bucks’ hope. Eastern Shore scored to retake the lead, 20-17.

On the following series, Kavaliers freshman quarterback Elijah Warner dropped back to pass, scrambled around, cut back to the left, wriggled out of tackles, and then sprinted down the sideline for a 52-yard touchdown. Dunnavant’s extra point meant Eastern Shore would have to score a touchdown to win.

The Bucks obtained excellent field position following a Kenston penalty assessed on the kickoff, giving them one last shot.

At the Kenston 5-yard line, the Kavaliers defense helped put Eastern Shore in a fourth-and-five situation. As the Bucks went for it, Taylor and senior Tyler Daniel stopped them on the half-yard line.

After the turnover on downs, Warner burrowed into the line for a short gain, and the game was over shortly thereafter.

Buchanan led the Kavaliers offense with 83 yards rushing, nine yards receiving, and he scored a touchdown.

Defensively, the Kavs were led by senior Tripp Jones, who totaled 13 tackles, including two for a loss, and he had a sack, as well.

Kenston Forest (2-0) travels to Quantico on Friday to play Quantico High School. Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 6 p.m.