Mabank tops Kemp in rivalry game, moves to 2-0
MABANK–The Mabank Panthers topped the Kemp Yellowjackets in their annual rivalry game Sept. 6 at Panther Stadium.
The two teams were unable to play their game in 2018 due to inclement weather and the game was not made up last season.
Mabank Panthers Head Coach Zack Hudson wasn’t sure what to expect of the rivalry game having never faced Kemp with Mabank last season, but the goal for Hudson was to improve off their win in Week 1.
“Rivalry games are always different, you never know,” Hudson said. “Our goal every week is to get better and we have to quit paying attention to the scoreboard and just say, ‘We got to get better every week.’”
As the Panthers and ’Jackets hit the field Friday night, Kemp won the coin toss, but deferred to kickoff to the Panthers to begin the game.
Junior quarterback Dahltyn McKinnley went to work early on a long 25-yard pass over the shoulder to Panthers receiver Devyn Gibbs down to the Kemp 36-yard line.
Despite a block in the back penalty negating an early Mabank touchdown, the Panthers made up for it a short time later as with senior running back Dakota Shaw running the ball in from 23 yards out to put the Panthers ahead 6-0 with 9:39 remaining in the first quarter.
Mabank tacked on another touchdown on a long 56-yard run by Jacob Mcray with 3:03 remaining in the first quarter. Shaw completed the two-point conversion for the Panthers as they bumped their lead to 14-0.
The Kemp defense went to work early in the second quarter as senior linebacker CJ Henderson caused a fumble that was recovered by the ’Jackets on the 31-yard line in Mabank territory. The ’Jackets would be unable to convert on that turnover as they turned the ball over on downs to the Panthers.
Shaw added to his total on the night as he took the ball 43 yards to the end zone for his second touchdown of the game to increase the Panthers lead to 20-0 with 7:04 left.
The first half ended with a Mabank interception by Landry Johnson, followed by a fumble by the Panthers, which was recovered by Kemp’s Alec Mullins with 31 seconds remaining.
The second half didn’t start well for the ’Jackets as they botched the kickoff as Nathan Mulder recovered the ball on the 44-yard line for the Panthers.
After a Kemp timeout early in the third quarter, the Panthers delivered on the next play as Mcray scored on a 41-yard run to increase the Panthers lead to 27-0.
Mabank senior running back Hayden Hines added a 41-yard touchdown run with 1:09 remaining in the third quarter, making it a 34-0 game in favor of the Panthers.
In the final minute of the third quarter, a fumble recovery by Mabank’s Preston Asay led to a three-yard touchdown on the next play by Hines to increase the Panthers lead to 41-0 entering the fourth quarter.
Mabank controlled the ball most of the final 12 minutes, culminating in a two-yard rushing touchdown by Mulder to send the Panthers home victorious, 48-0 over the ’Jackets.
Hudson liked what he saw from his defense that caused havoc for the ’Jackets and created offense out of turnovers.
“I thought our middle linebacker (Caleb) Goforth had a couple of big plays and really what we saw on defense is that we started attacking more. Instead of sitting back and waiting for something to happen, we attacked, and that’s what this defense is built for.”
The loss drops the ’Jackets to 0-2 to begin the season as Kemp has yet to score in 2019. Kemp returns home to take on Waxahachie Life (1-1) with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.
The win moves the Panthers to a 2-0 start as they head out on the road for the first time this season. Mabank takes on Wills Point (1-1) away from home Sept. 13 for a 7:30 p.m. contest.