Unfortunately, the result proved to be a nightmare.
The Mustangs (1-0) scored in chunks throughout the game en route to a 48-27 victory at Jim Frazier Stadium, and they kept their foot on the gas pedal late into the fourth quarter. In fact, Kennesaw Mountain surprised the home fans when it ran a fake punt near its own end zone — and converted it — thanks to a 17-yard scamper from tailback Jamari Carter.
Sprayberry coach Billy Shackelford had no quarrels with the aggressive play.
“They’re playing football,” Shackelford said. “I don’t think they were doing anything dirty. If we don’t like it, we need to get in the weight room and do something about it.”
Kennesaw Mountain had scoring plays of 55, 45, 47, 31 and 48 yards. For Shackelford, the heap of long-distance plays were too familiar.
“We’re not doing a good job tackling,” Shackelford said. “That’s been a common thing for the last two weeks. We’re in position to make plays but we’re missing tackles.”
Nigel Hayes was the key for the Mustangs’ offense. The junior quarterback completed just four passes, but for 130 yards and two scores, and also rushed 13 times for 110 yards and two more touchdowns. Hayes also converted two 2-point conversions.
Carter helped balance the offense, carrying 17 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns, including a 45-yarder.
Defensively, the Mustangs managed three interceptions.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our kids,” Kennesaw Mountain coach Andy Scott said. “I thought we played well offensively. Our defense played well defensively when they had to and it felt good to get that first win.”
Quarterback Shane Young struggled in the air for the Yellow Jackets, going just 3-of-10 for eight yards, but it was a different story on the ground. In fact, Young led all rushers with 29 carries for 191 yards and two scores.
Other than Young, Sprayberry accumulated just 32 additional yards of offense.
For Kennesaw Mountain, the huge victory was a banner beginning to the 2013 campaign. On the other hand, the Yellow Jackets will use the results from their out-of-classification contests to better prepare for region play.
“All of this non-region stuff, we’re trying to prime the pump,” Shackelford said. “We’ve got to keep working and that’s what we’re going to do.”