Florala falls to Kinston

Published 1:16 am Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Kinston Bulldogs celebrated homecoming by holding off the Florala Wildcats for a 14-12 wins.

After the teams exchanged punts KHS put up the first points of the game when Caleb Mack took the ball in from 9 yards out. The extra point missed wide giving KHS an early 6-0 advantage.

Both teams went the rest of the half without allowing another point, but FHS came out after halftime and drove the ball down the field behind the legs of Desmond Smiley and Austin West. West capped off the drive with a 10-yard TD run. The extra point was missed and the score was knotted at 6.

The FHS defense continued their first half effort by forcing the KHS offense to go three and out on their next drive, but a booming punt from the KHS punter pinned the FHS offense inside the 10-yard line. In a very pivotal part of the game, the KHS defense followed suit and also forced a three and out and blocked the punt into the end zone where quartback/punter Austin McNeill fell on the ball for a safety giving KHS an 8-6 lead with 5 minutes left in the third quarter.

KHS took complete advantage of the turnover by going 42 yards on six plays with Dillan Wilson running the ball in from 19 yards. KHS was unsuccessful on their 2-pt conversion attempt but still lead 14-6.

The FHS offense showed a lot of promise in the following series, getting the ball down to the KHS 9-yard line before McNeill was picked off in the end zone on a fourth-and-six play from the nine.

FHS forced another three and out on Kinston’s next drive and then used a nine play 75 yard drive before McNeill found Chris Williams all by himself in the corner of the end zone for an eight-yard TD pass. FHS lined up for two but were flagged for false start. They were unable to convert the conversion as McNeill’s pass was batted down in the end zone. KHS still held the lead 14-12.

FHS had one more shot as KHS lined up to punt with 30 ticks left on the clock. West fielded the punt and it looked as though he was off the races before getting tripped up around mid-field, but the play would be called back for a block in the back.

“It was just a great high school football game,” said Florala head coach Justin Jones. “I’m proud of our kids tonight. They never gave up. We have a great football team and I’m proud to be a Florala Wildcat.”