Kinston breaks out late to defeat Jones Senior, stay undefeated
Kinston senior linebacker Lamontaye Dixon (50) has Jones Senior senior quarterback Detorian Brown in his grasp during Thursday's game in Trenton. Photo by William 'Bud' Hardy / Neuse News
TRENTON -- The final score didn’t indicate how close the game really was.
Thursday night, Kinston took Jones Senior’s best shot before dominating late for a 49-6 victory. The Vikings (4-0) never trailed, but couldn’t take full control from a winless Trojans (0-4) team ready for the challenge.
“(We got) back to the fundamentals and playing Kinston football,” Vikings coach Ryan Gieselman said. “We were out of ourselves early on and had adversity we needed to conquer, but settled down in the second half.”
The Vikings forced a pair of three-and-outs while simultaneously scoring on their initial two drives, but the Trojans made moves on the third, starting with a third-down 34-yard completion from Detorian Brown to Syheen Sauls. Jones Senior eventually reached the red zone, but Brown was intercepted by Caleb Gooding to end the threat in the waning seconds of the first quarter.
Jones Senior then forced a pair of Kinston three-and-outs to start the second, but Kieren Hooker connected with Cortez White for a 54-yard touchdown to stretch the margin to 21-0. The Trojans reached the red zone again, but turned the ball over on downs and Hooker’s drive on the ensuing possession led to a Sauls interception to end the half.
Dejour Brown intercepted Hooker on the opening drive to give Jones Senior great field position, then made a one-handed diving catch on fourth-and-7 to gain 8 and move the ball to the Kinston 4. Two plays later, Ryan Jones scored from a yard out to cut the deficit to 21-6.
Two plays later, Hooker threw his third touchdown pass of the game to White — this one from 59 yards — to take back momentum. Jones Senior got into the red zone on the next drive, but turned it over on downs.
“The first half was kind of sloppy and at halftime, everybody just came together to figure out what’s going on,” Hooker said. “In the second half, we were able to play our game.”
Kinston finally took over in the fourth quarter, scoring three touchdowns in a span of 32 seconds to start the running clock. Gieselman said there’s plenty to work on heading into next week’s contest with Southern Wayne, but it felt good to leave Trenton with a win.
“It’s just another big nonconference game,” Gieselman said. “We’ve got to keep polishing up our craft and want to hit conference play as (well) as we can. I don’t think we’re there yet and hopefully we can use next week, getting a four-day week of practice, which I think will be big for us.”
Jones Senior coach Greg Hampton said the team had nothing to be disappointed about.
“Our players gave 100 percent effort the entire game,” Hampton said. “Bottom line: We ran out of bodies. We made a few mistakes in the first and second quarter, but were in the game all the way up to the third. We’re fighting with 18 bodies — hats off to my football team. They gave everything they had today.”
The Vikings will host Southern Wayne on Sept. 6 while the Trojans travel to Clinton Union the same day.
KINSTON 49, JONES SENIOR 6
K 14 7 7 21 — 49
JS 0 0 6 0 — 6
K — Jaeden Whitfield 1 run (Diego Patino kick), 7:26
K — Cortez White 21 pass from Kieren Hooker (Patino kick), 3:29
K — White 54 pass from Hooker (Patino kick), 4:22
JS — Bryan Jones 1 run (run failed), 6:33
K — Khari Pitts 59 pass from Hooker (Patino kick), 6:09
K — Pitts 4 run (Patino kick), 9:12
K — Jalique Rouse 28 fumble return (Patino kick), 9:00
K — Whitfield 33 run (Patino kick), 8:40
First Downs 11 9
Rushes 26-129 29-3
Passing 6-18-2 14-32-3
Passing Yards 200 169
Total Yards 329 172
Punts 2-26.0 3-14.0
Fumbles 3-1 1-1
Penalties 4-30 7-44
RUSHING — Kinston: Jaedan Whitfield 12-139, Josh Holloway 1-7, Khari Pitts 1-4, Kieren Hooker 12-minus 21. Jones Senior: Jacob Kinsey 5-13, Dejour Brown 2-12, Bryan Jones 11-7, Detorian Brown 11-minus 29.
PASSING — Kinston: Hooker 6-18-2, 200. Jones Senior: Det. Brown 14-31-2, 169, Jones 0-1-1, 0.
RECEIVING — Kinston: Pitts 3-113, Cortez White 3-87. Jones Senior: Syheen Sauls 4-51, Dej. Brown 5-50, Jones 3-38, Kinsey 1-28, Brygel Murrell 1-1.