March 28, 2023

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Amite’s Defense Doesn’t Break In 14-6 Victory Over Kentwood

If you’ve read the game preview above, then you must know that this matchup between the Amite Warriors and the Kentwood Kangaroos is not only for bragging rights for the parish, but bragging rights between two of the most accomplished football programs in Louisiana High School football history as both programs combine for 15 state championships. Both current head coaches in Jonathan Foster and Zephaniah Powell have each won two state championships a piece so it is always a fun matchup when these two programs square off.

The Kangaroos came in this game with a 4-0 record while the Warriors came in with a 3-1 record trying to defend their Class 2A State Championship a season ago. Both teams are favorites to make it to the Superdome once again in their own classification and the winner coming out of this game will take the next step in trying to achieve their goal.

Early on, it was clear that both teams were trying to get a feel for each other as the Kangaroos turned the ball over on downs on their first possession. The Warriors were on an impressive drive as Christian Smith had a nice run to put the Warriors in the red zone until their offense fumbles inside the ten yard line. The Kangaroos recover and it sets the tone for a night in which both teams would have struggles scoring in the red zone.

The Kangaroos return the favor and turn the football over after their offense gets inside the red zone. On the play, Kentwood running back Shun Burton was trying to extend the ball to move the chains and Amite cornerback Simeon Powell makes a heads up play in knocking the ball out and recovering the fumble. However, on the return, Powell would end up getting injured and would end up being carted off the field missing the rest of the game.

After a scoreless first quarter, Amite sets themselves up with great field position after a big run from their senior quarterback Jalen Robinson. A couple of plays later, the Warriors break the scoreless tie with a touchdown run from Robinson, but it did come with some controversy as the Kentwood side thought that Robinson fumbled the football before crossing the goal line. The referees went with the original call on the field thus giving the Warriors the first lead of the football game at 7-0.

After Kentwood punts the ball back to Amite, the Warriors find themselves some rhythm offensively first with a completion to Lemar Harris to move the chains and then a 20 plus yard run from Derrian Martin to put the Warriors offense inside the red zone once again. The Warriors score on back to back drives and it was also back to back rushing touchdowns from Robinson, but this time, it was without a doubt putting Amite up 14-0 late in the second quarter.

The Kangaroos turn the football over for the second time in the game as Amite’s heart and soul leader Jeremy Robertson scoops up a fumble and has a big return. A penalty would negate the big return from the senior defensive lineman, but the Warriors do force their second turnover of the first half. However, a couple of penalties would set the Warriors back and the Kentwood’s defense does get a stop. At the end of the first half, the Warriors would take a 14-0 lead going into the locker room.

On the first drive of the second half, the Warriors were looking to add on to their lead, but Ashton Terrell fumbles the football and Kentwood’s Kevonte Miller recovers. Still, the Warriors defense holds serve as Robertson sacks Kentwood quarterback Germarcus Wilson in the backfield forcing the Kangaroos to punt. The Warriors are once again on a promising drive first with a big run from Smith proceeded by a toe tapping catch by the sidelines from Terrell. Then, it looked like Robinson would add his third rushing touchdown of the game, but a penalty wiped off the touchdown run. The Kangaroos defense would hold forcing a turnover on downs and giving themselves the football still only down by two possessions.

After a scoreless third quarter, the score remained at 14-0, but the Kangaroos were on their best drive of the football game marching the ball 88 yards on a methodical drive. The impressive touchdown was capped off by a short touchdown run from Shun Burton. The Kangaroos would then go for the two point conversion, but came up short. Still, the Kangaroos clawed their way back in the game as the Warriors lead was cut to eight at 14-6.

The momentum swings to Kentwood’s side as the defense not only forces a three an out, but the Warriors shank a punt giving the Kangaroos their best field position of the football game by far inside the Warriors’ 10 yard line. A couple of plays later marked the biggest play of the football game. As the Kangaroos were trying to punch the ball in the end zone, Amite’s Earl Tillman made a heads up play in grabbing the football as Kentwood’s running back was trying to cross the plane. For the third time and the second time in the red zone, the Amite defense came up big with a fumble recovery and stopping the Kangaroos from potentially tying the football game up.

The Warriors would run about four more minutes off the clock before punting the football back to the Kangaroos with two minutes left to play in the football game and with one timeout remaining. The Kangaroos were managing the clock great and were inside the red zone with under a minute left in the football game. The Kangaroos once again had hope and once again, Earl Tillman showed up to squash it. Tillman continued his phenomenal night by sealing the game with back to back sacks on third and fourth down. The Warriors will take over on downs and run out the rest of the clock giving them the 14-6 victory.

“It was a fantastic game. They had us pinned and then Earl Tillman, a sophomore, made a heads up play. The running back was trying to get the football over the goal line, but he was smart enough to reach over and take it from the guy. Then, our offense was able to get us off from the goal line and we were able to punt it. When we sent our defense back out, it pretty much ended the game for us.”

“I loved our effort tonight offensively, defensively, and special teams. We challenged our kids at the start of the week that this was going to be an effort game tonight.”

Amite Head Coach Zephaniah Powell on the 14-6 victory

For the Warriors, they improve their record to 4-1 on the season and will play Bogalusa next Friday night. Meanwhile, the Kangaroos’ undefeated season is over as the team will fall to 4-1. Next week, the Kangaroos will look to bounce back on Thursday against Thrive Academy.

Both teams came together after the hard fought game. (Photo taken by Jace LeJeune)

Check out all the highlights from what was another classic Amite/Kentwood football game plus my postgame interview with Coach Powell after the victory. If you haven’t done so already, make sure to subscribe and hit the bell in order to get notified on when we post every video!

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