LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - This trip to the State Title didn’t quite go to plan for the Yellow Jackets as Kinder fell to the Many Tigers, 16-13 in a defensive effort.
But that game started strong for the Kinder offense... On the Jacket’s first play from scrimmage, Fawcett pitched the ball to Tylan Ceasar, who’d go 59 yards into the endzone, putting up the Jackets 7-0
“I’ve been in these games before you know that first play happens and you have a big play, and the furthest thing from my mind was ‘this thing’s over with,” Kinder head coach Bret Fuselier said. “Because we know on that other sideline who Many is, we know what they’re all about, and we knew we were in for a slugfest.”
The Tigers would do just that... A drive later, Many would take advantage of a Kinder miscue on the interception, before making it a one-point game on a QB sneak.
Arguably the biggest play of the game came just before the break, Kinder’s Graham Fawcett hit Dee Fontenot on a corner route that Fontenot would turn into a 78-yard touchdown. However, holding was called on Kinder, negating the touchdown.
“I wish that you could review holding calls but look it’s a game and that was just one play in the game. We had plenty of other opportunities to make up for that,” Fuselier said. “That would’ve been a very big turning point in the game, I feel, with that momentum going into the half and the opportunity to get the ball in the second half”
Instead, Many would answer just a couple of plays later with a field goal to lead 9-7 at the half.
After a scoreless third quarter, the turnover bug would bite Kinder again. as Many freshman Tylen Singleton would pick off Fawcett and returns it 23 yards to extend Many’s lead, 16-7.
That 9-point deficit was not one the Jackets would be able to overcome. Despite a late score, the Jackets wouldn’t recover the onside kick.
The Tigers ran out the rest of the clock to be named the Class 2A champions.
“This is not the way you want to go out like this. But I am beyond grateful for the experience,” Kinder’s Trenton Bono said. “I can’t say enough about Kinder as a whole - the team, the city, it’s a family. And at the meeting last night that’s what we were talking about. I’ve never had a family like this.”
One good thing for the Jackets to bring out of the game was how well the Kinder defense played. The Jackets held Many to just 164 total yards and nine points despite allowing over 31 minutes of possession.
“Like you just said only 100 and what? (150.) For an offense like that, that scored 83 points? Kinder lineman Collin South shakes his head.”
“We’ve said it all year long we know how special this defense is. And they showed it today. And that was the story of the game off the field. We stayed out there way too long,” said Fuselier.
So it’s back to the drawing board for Kinder as Many took the championship rubber match over Kinder, but if history tells us anything, this won’t be the last time we see these two again.