KERENS–By air and by ground (and by foot), the Italy Gladiators grinded out a 40-6 victory Oct. 9 over the Kerens Bobcats, dropping Kerens to 1-1 in District 8-2A, Division 1 play and 2-5 for the season.
Kerens quarterback Brayden May threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Jaylon Harris on fourth-and-1 with 9:36 left in the game for the Bobcats' only score.
Italy used all phases of offense and added a defensive score to take a 19-0 halftime lead. The Gladiators struck first with a 9-yard touchdown run halfway through the first quarter to go up 7-0.
Italy converted a fourth-and-6 from the Kerens 17-yard line with a pass to the 6, after which the Gladiators punched it into the end zone with a run, taking a 14-0 lead with 8:58 left in the half.
About two minutes later, the Italy defense pinned Kerens deep in its own territory, tackling a Bobcat runner for a safety, giving the Gladiators a 16-0 margin.
After converting another fourth-and-long with a pass, Italy almost scored following the ensuing safety kickoff, but the Gladiator runner fumbled the ball at the goal-line pylon, recovered by Kerens' Matthew Tucker for a touchback.
Kerens punted, and Italy's offense set up a successful 32-yard field goal as the second quarter expired.
Italy added three second-half touchdowns to seal their victory, two on the ground and one through the air.