KERENS–The Ted Patton era for the Kerens Bobcats started with a win as his team gave their new head coach a 19-7 season-opening victory at home over the Meridian Yellow Jackets.
Jason Burleson of Kerens scored his squad’s first points of 2020 when he intercepted a Meridian pass and returned it from near midfield for a touchdown at the 5:43 mark of the first quarter. An Adrian Solis extra-point kick put Kerens ahead at 7-0.
On Meridian's next possession, Burleson recovered a fumble just inside Yellow Jacket territory, starting a drive which ended with a Ben Brooks 2-yard touchdown run with 1:09 left in the first quarter. The extra point was blocked, but the Bobcats led 13-0.
Late in the first half, Meridian foiled a Kerens fake punt then marched downfield for a touchdown, scoring on a fourth-down 2-yard quarterback keeper as the halftime horn sounded. Time had been put back on the clock following a Kerens defensive penalty, one play after the Bobcats appeared to stop the threat and end the half.
With Kerens winning 13-7 with 7:21 left in the third quarter, the Bobcats' Damarya Baxter converted a fourth-and-1 from the Meridian 16-yard line, running for a touchdown. The extra point sailed wide left, leaving Kerens with a 19-7 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Izick Smith of Kerens picked off a pass and the Bobcat defense also recovered a fumble to clinch the win.