Big second half propels Kell past Pope
by Marcel Pourtout
MDJ Sports Writer
November 02, 2013 02:33 AM | 3274 views | 36 36 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kell quarterback Cameron Rosendahl hands off to Jay Moxey on Friday. Rosendahl and Moxey each had big games as the Longhorns downed Pope 52-26 to win the Region 7AAAAA (B) championship.
Kell quarterback Cameron Rosendahl hands off to Jay Moxey on Friday. Rosendahl and Moxey each had big games as the Longhorns downed Pope 52-26 to win the Region 7AAAAA (B) championship.
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MARIETTA — Jay Moxey ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns, and Taylor Henkle added three touchdowns of his own as Kell defeated east Cobb rival Pope 52-26 to secure the Region 7AAAAA (B) championship.

The outcome of the game means the third-ranked Longhorns will face Cambridge in their play-in game, while the Greyhounds will face off with Sequoyah. The winners of those matchups will advance to the Class AAAAA playoffs.

The victory was also Kell’s ninth straight over Pope.

“(Friday) was a team effort and we got some big plays on offense,” Kell coach Derek Cook said. “The emphasis now focuses on being in a one-game season. That sense of urgency will be conveyed this week in practice and there will be no room for errors.”

Kell (9-0, 4-0) held a slim 24-19 lead at halftime after allowing 233 passing yards by Pope quarterback Taylor Wolf.

Wolf would go on to throw for a game-high 347 yards and two touchdowns, but the Longhorns took control of the game in the third quarter behind their quarterback, Cameron Rosendahl.

Rosendahl, who finished with 203 yards passing and two touchdowns, connected with Henkle on a 6-yard scoring pass to increase the lead to 31-19.

Kell sealed the game in the fourth quarter when Henkle caught a 15-yard touchdown pass and then followed it with a 35-yard interception return for another score.

Kell got on the scoreboard first on a 5-yard touchdown run by Moxey off a pitch to the right side, giving the Longhorns the 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.

Pope responded on the first play of its next possession when Wolf connected on a screen pass to Logan Carr who raced 78 yards for a touchdown, tying the score at 7-all. Carr finished the game with a game-high 195 yards receiving.

“Our kids gave a great effort tonight and made big plays,” Pope coach Matt Kemper said. “We’re now playing a one-game season. Everything is on the line and hopefully our guys will respond to that and we’ll work hard this week in preparing for that.”

The Longhorns retook the lead, 10-7, later in the quarter on a 29-yard field goal by Cameron Massung.

The Greyhounds ended the first quarter with a 13-10 lead courtesy of a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Wolf.

Kell took a 17-13 lead early in the second quarter on Moxey’s 3-yard touchdown run. The Longhorns final touchdown of the first half was on a 4-yard run by Darian Harris, who had 106 yards rushing in the game.

Comments
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afanofanotherteam
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November 05, 2013
There is no place for touchdown dances or poses in high school football. Period. IT IS CLASSLESS!
Kell Class
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November 05, 2013
You may be right and I'm sure Coach Cook will take the appropriate disciplinary actions.

There is DEFINITELY no place for cheering an injured player at any level of sports, particularly high school athletics. That's downright despicable.
goofy 777
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November 05, 2013
Beth Carnes. Pope is not only a 5A team, they are in the same region. Don't speak if you do not know what your talking about.
PHS Fan
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November 04, 2013
The problem this year is the defense not the coaching. We cannot replace the leadership and talent we had on the D last year. We are replacing 5 all region players and are only returning one starter on that side of the ball from last years playoff team. The O cannot carry the team without at least a fighting chance on D.
Greyhound fan
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November 04, 2013
We have good players on defense. We do not have good defensive coaches. Poor technique. Poor tackling. Poor in game adjustments .. ..hard to watch.
Program Decline
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November 04, 2013
PHS Fan, the defense has had it's share of issues, I agree. But reconcile this for me - I've lost track of the number of turnovers by the offense. We have had a season worth of turnovers in a single game (Cambridge). My guess is we are averaging over 3 turnovers a game. How many pick sixes have we had 5, 6, 7? Think about those numbers. If it's only 5, that's 35 points! Most games should be settled by 2 touchdowns or less.

Next, how about the 3 and outs that put the defense immediately back on the field. This has happened countless times. Most recently in the Kell game several times. You could almost feel sorry for the defense in that game given the amount of time they were on the field.

Pope is averaging 23 points a game, 7th in our Region of 12 schools. Hardly high octane from a high school standard. And the offense has all the "athletes" and biggest players on it.

I would re-think your premise.
PHS Fan
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November 06, 2013
Did you watch any of Popes games last year. The O was three and out all the time but they kept winning games. The defensive was much better last year and carried Pope all of last season. This season the D is not keeping anybody out of the end zone which forces the O to limit its play calling and throw the ball all over the place which turns into turnovers. It is pretty easy to play D when your winning 21-0 in the first quarter. And about the coaches. We have the same ones as last year. The player talent has gone way down. Why do you think they are starting different players each week. They have had to move players midseason to positions that they haven't played since middle school because the other options haven't performed. Example Ben Doran. It is the players that have to execute the scheme.
Program Decline
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November 06, 2013
Pope has made itself one dimensional on offense through coaching. Did you ever hear of ball control? You don't start games down 21-0. They get the ball, then you get the ball and it repeats itself...Except, if when you get the ball you turn it over or continually go three and out.

Pope has a huge offensive line. Some would say it was the strength of the team coming into the season. Just because a "pure" running back is not on the roster doesn't mean someone can't carry the ball. How about one of those athletic receivers getting 15-20 carries a game? Pope just might control the ball, run some clock and not find itself down by three scores.

Last years team had a fraction of the turnovers, a key to any successful team, at any level. That kept Pope in games as much as a superb defense. It is disingenuous to suggest the "defense" is somehow causing the offense to turn the ball over.

To leave you with one final thought. How about the scheme fitting the players versus the players fitting the scheme? How's that for an idea? If you had Adrian Peterson, would you construct a pass-first offense even if that was your background as a coach or would you design a run-first offense? Extreme example, but I hope you get my point. Pope has big, strong, slow offensive linemen. Run straight forward behind them instead of chucking the ball recklessly all over the field.
Facts Please
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November 06, 2013
PHS Fan , are you really dealing with facts. Are the coaches the same as last year? Didn't Pope have the dad coach who's son was a qb last year? Didn't he leave when the son graduated? Oops! And take a look at the postion coaches. Same names, but they take different positions each year. One year you're the linebacker coach, the next the running back coach, the next....well you get the point. You're assertion that we are always down 21-0 in first quarter in absurd (Sprayberry, Northview, Cambridge, Kell, Osborne). Oops! Take a hard look at who the coaches are choosing to play at certain positions and you wonder why they don't succeed. You have to be kidding the readers when you play the talent card. Give us all a break. Is something clouding your objectivity?
Beth Carnes
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November 04, 2013
Kell players have more class in their little toes than Pope has in their entire school. The Kell team did not end their season 10-0 because they are lucky. Pope is a 6A school while Kell is a 5A school and Pope is not the only 6A School Kell defeated this season with class and their dignity in tact! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize……Kell players are in better shape and out played Pope with their 2nd string QB to boot. If the game had been refereed with competent individuals, Pope would never have scored 26 points. I do believe this is the 9th straight years Kell has defeated Pope and with class each and dignity every year.
classification101
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November 04, 2013
Beth, your post would've been more productive had you caught your most glaring error ahead of time. Both Pope and Kell are 5A schools.
Pope Supporter
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November 05, 2013
Beth Carnes

Pope is a 5A school just like Kell. We are in the same region. And yes you do win every year. Hats off to you.

"with class each and dignity every year".....not sure what that means?
long time PHS fan
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November 04, 2013
Wow. Some of you "fair weather" Pope fans are amazing. Just because a kid can wrestle doesn't make him a football player. If wrestling required 11 guys to wrestle simultaneously in order to win, working with each other instead of alone,it would require a very different approach. Pope has some good individuals, but when it comes to teamwork, sometimes the same attitudes displayed by the negative posters here come through their kids. I've seen every coaching staff since Pope opened and this one is really top notch. They care about the students and do a great job given the issues they face each year. Heavy graduation numbers, kids dropping off the team, and parents who think that they can run the program make it even tougher. Maybe those who think they can do a better job coaching should stop writing about it and go get hired to do it. Given Pope's history, it looks like the current staff is the best that has ever been at the school. One off season does not represent the entire picture.
Pope Wrestling Nut
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November 04, 2013
This blog stream is unbelievable. I never knew the football program had this many issues. I do want to say a few things though:

- Wrestling has a definite team aspect to it so please do not suggest otherwise.

- Many of the Pope wrestlers I know are/were super football players as well (Climmons, O'Reilly, Stevens, Tabachino, McMahon, Henson, on and on). They know what "teamwork" is.

- The wrestling team has a tremendous coach. He's tough but knows his sh** and puts the best wrestlers on the mat. Extremely successful.

Seems to me that there is a huge disconnect between fan base, parents and coaches. Truth is Coach Haskin IS Pope wrestling. It starts there. You know where you stand, what the goals are and how we're going to get there. Maybe there's a lesson to be learned from that.

Go Pope!
Real Issues
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November 04, 2013
Long time fan it's really difficult to let renditions like yours about this program to stand. People like you simply won't address items that appear over and over in these posts week after week. Claims of daddy ball, bad or no game planning, inheriting of Frost and the inevitable success those years, terrible record in a weak region, player defections, etc. Lets deal with the issues, not write them off as better than the past. Most people don't have the experience to coach football. This staff should its their job after all. But people can make reasonable observations about what they see and experience. So go ahead and shoot holes in the comments above. I think many of us would like to hear them.

phs2013
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November 03, 2013
Pope played their hearts out and came in with a good game plan. They scored 26 points against a team that was giving up an average of 12 points a game. They also battled to the very end. Kell has overall more team speed than pope and it showed in the second half and was the difference in this game. Pope had some big plays but they only really have about 3 weapons in the entire team, who all play offense. The defense does not have a lot of size or speed and kell outmatched pope on friday even though the kids played hard and were in position to make plays they just did not win enough of the matchups on defense. I dont understand what more you expected from pope during this game...they gave kell all they could handle. You guys just want to complain just to hear yourself complain.

The fact that pope did play so hard and fought the whole time shows a lot about the character of the players on the team and the coaching staff. Most teams would have tanked it by now and would be struggling to put together a fighting effort like that...but they played the hardest they had all year. Most high school teams have only 2/3 offensive weapons but unfortunately that doesnt win games in itself. it takes a complete team, and the teams that happen to have more weapons than 2/3 (kell, creekview, riverwood) tend to do better than the rest. Pope still has a chance at the playoffs once again, this would be the fourth season in a row making the playoffs if they win this upcoming week. What more can you honestly want. You cant win a state championship in every sport..they are a competitive team with class who plays hard. If you are unhappy why dont you just go to another school since the GHSA wont do anything about moving schools. Its easy to be a critic from the stands of any team, they are high school kids and high school coaches who all try their best every week. This isnt college or the nfl.
Snap from center
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November 03, 2013
3-8 is not good by any measurement

The O line is laughable
Play the best 11
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November 03, 2013


Coach Please talk to your players. It will help you and the program

Communicate 101
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November 04, 2013
Not just the players, communicate to all stakeholders genuinely. If you say in a parent meeting that unsportsmanlike conduct penalties will not be tolerated and the player commiting the foul will sit, then do it. Shouldn't be administered selectively (i.e. coaches sons don't apply rule). Also, when you say freshmen don't play does it really mean that or do we apply it selectively again? Lastly, if you tell a player they will be seeing time this week at a particular position, do it or never say it in the first place. All credibility is lost when you pull stunts like this. And a good answer to all of the above is not "I should have been more involved or paying closer attention". Leadership folks, leadership!
Improved
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November 02, 2013
Well, I am usually quite critical of the coaching but the Pope coaches and players made a good effort. If we learned a few things, I think it was #1. Recruiting pays off because the GHSA will never do anything about it. #2. Kell still has no class. #3. Kell will not be contending for the state championship anytime soon. Way over rated!
PapaHorn
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November 03, 2013
@Improved

Bless your bitter little heart!! Parents and kids have moved to Kell WITHIN THE GUIDELINES that the GHSA mandates because of the football program just as they have done for the Pope wrestling program. The success of both programs recruits kids and parents. Your "Kell has no class" comment has no merit as the Pope fans cheered loudly when one of the Kell players went down injured. That is the epitome of no class. Just because we beat you 52-26 by having 300 yards rushing and 200 yards passing and being more physical than you does not equal "no class". I would have figured that your Ivy League education would have helped you figure that one out but perhaps you are have been blinded by your own biases. Lastly, maybe we won't contend for the state title. Maybe we will. Lots of things play into that equation such as the health of our players, the difficulty of the bracket we fall into, etc. Our players and coaches have worked hard to be 9-0, give credit where it is due instead of being bitter and jealous of our success. Good luck to Coach Kemper and the Hounds next week and beyond.
Pope supporter
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November 03, 2013
Kell is a classless team.

Guess we will just have to beat them in wrestling, baseball and lacrosse like we always do......
Not So Fast
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November 03, 2013
Improved, I can agree only partially with your comments. Regarding point #1 be careful - Other Pope sports have benefited from "move-ins". Point #2 is fair. Running a reverse at the end with such a big lead is classless. Point #3 is also accurate in my opinion. However, if you do feel that way about Kell it is hard to talk about "improved". Stated differently, a mediocre trumped up team rolled up 52 points on Pope and beat them by 26 points. What would truly good teams do to us? Really speaks to program direction.

Homegrown??
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November 03, 2013
Recruiting is here to stay in High School Sports so get used to it. If I'm not mistaken Pope QB this year is a transfer as was one of the QBs last year along with All County MLB. Stud pitcher at Pope a few years back was transfer and championship wrestling team has some to. Maybe the trick is the RIGHT transfers.....
AnonymousHound
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November 02, 2013
There are no comments because there is nothing left to say. Too much talent on this team that is not being utilized or coached. This is a shameful example of what coaching high school football should NOT look like. Any coach worth their salt could take these young men very far, but unfortunately we are stuck with a coaching staff that has no idea how to do that.
Outside Looking In
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November 03, 2013
Coach Kemper has done a very respectable job at Pope. You people are too foolish to see it. Have you forgotten how things were BEFORE he arrived? Back then, Pope was an automatic win for opponents!! If you run him off, you'll go back to the days where the playoffs are a distant memory, not a likely happening. Fools!!
Pope Logic
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November 04, 2013
OutsideLookingIn - how do you conclude that Pope will fade away if Kemper leaves? Your logic makes no sense. The program is sputtering at all levels now. Most think he's outta here as soon as he secures scholarships for his kids anyway. Isn't it a possibility that someone BETTER can actually be found? Jeez....who's the fool?
Hounds Fanatic
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November 02, 2013
For those of you who believe Pope has lesser athletic talent, you obviously didn't see Carr run 80 yards on the bubble pass, away from from Kell's DB's. We have more than enough talent, on the field and (unfortunately) off. Utilizing it properly, however, is an issue.

We have the biggest offensive line in the state but don't create a running game to take advantage. Even without a prototypical runner we could drive the ball effectively with those guys. We have great talent on the front seven, but don't design a defense to neutralize opponents strengths.

We don't block well, tackle well, throw well. all core practice issues that aren't addressed by a coaching staff that lacks fire and remains aloof.
Disgusted Pope Fan
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November 03, 2013
Well put. every good team that we play has players that play both ways. Kell had at least 3 players that did not come off the field. Carr, Shiflett and others should do that for Pope. We have VERY good talent it is just not used correctly. How is it that Pope wins state championships in wrestling year after year (no Cobb team come close no matter the classification). State championships in Baseball, and competes for state championships in lacrosse and we are one of the worst football programs in the county? Coaching.
Program Decline
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November 03, 2013
Points well made. Didn't you just know that after playing an inspired first half, we would be totally out coached and flat in second half. You could just see Kell turn it up a notch and start picking on the player mismatches (a sign of good coaching and adjustments). Did you notice their use of timeouts and player substitutions?

I bet their coach challenged the team at halftime and made the few necessary changes to pull away. They had a game plan and it worked (20 points in each half). No turnovers to my recollection.

Conversely, we seemed to be all over the map again with play calling. Some stuff worked, a lot didn't. We have offensive series where you just scratch your head. It never seems like there is a plan. "Let's just try, hmmmm, this play".

We had enough talent to beat that team. Will never happen with this crew of gym teachers, track coaches, dads and whoever else we call a coach.
Pope alum
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November 03, 2013
Good use of the word aloof. I just don't get it. The most unfriendly coaches I have ever seen. Even the wives have a roped off area in the stands.......ridiculous.
GoHounds
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November 03, 2013
You're right. Carr is a great athlete. Problem is Kell had about 10 as good or better than Pope's 2 or 3. Anyone watching that game that truly believes Pope is as talented as Kell has no idea. The honest truth is Pope should be one game better than they are. They obviously should have beaten Cambridge. You can't turn the ball over 7 times and expect to beat anyone. Marietta and Etowah are AAAAAA playoff teams and unfortunately we got Wheeler a week too early. Riverwood has the best team they've had in years and is marginally better than the hounds and Kell is the #3 team in the state. For all of you so called fans, Pope's NEVER sniffed being a #3 team regardless of the coach. It's not hard to see that the Hounds just ran into a tough year. It happens. We are all frustrated but I find it laugable that the last 4 or 5 years are completely forgotten. Pope's had more success under Kemper than ever before. We need to remember that.
AreYouBlind?
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November 03, 2013
Great talent? Pope's front 7 consist of average high school football players at best. There's not a division 1 football player among them. If you check the MDJ season statistics, they have created a pretty solid run game. The problem is you have to have the QB run it. That kid is tough as nails but can only take so much. I'm sure they'd love to line up and run it down people's throats. I'd be interested to see who you think would carry the ball.
Hounds Fanatic
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November 04, 2013
Kell has two guys on the line that would start for us. Their offensive line is undersized (by our standards) and the only guy who did any real damage on their defense was rushing from outside. There are ways to beat teams who outmatch you athletically. It is referred to as a game plan, something we lack. We have way more than two or three athletes but they aren't utilized properly.

I wouldn't claim we should beat any of the 6A's we played, but we shouldn't be getting waxed either. We have enough talent to compete but don't put in the work.

AYB and Go Hounds are probably two former touchdown club boosters who voted to build that pretty little addition on the back of the school that we'll be paying for next decade. They will always be cheerleaders, not willing to honestly evaluate the job that's getting done.
AreYouBlind?
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November 04, 2013
Hounds Fanatic - what inside information do you have to conclude how hard someone is or is not working? Are you in the weekend staff meetings? Do you watch film with the coaches and help devise what they plan to do? If you do, that's awesome. I'm just curious to know how you are so certain of the time being put in.
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