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Kennesaw Mountain dropped its Region 3AAAAAAA contest at North Paulding, 21-10, on Friday night.

The Mustangs (0-9, 0-4) held the Wolfpack (6-3, 1-3) to only 262 total yards of offense, of which 133 came on the ground.

“Aside from a few big plays, our defense played well,” Kennesaw Mountain coach Caleb Carmean said. “We have to continue to try and limit those big plays and create big plays for our offense.”

Jahson Welch opened the scoring halfway through the first quarter, scoring on the ground from 15 yards out for a 7-0 Kennesaw Mountain lead. After that, both offenses stalled for much of the rest of the half, but North Paulding responded late in the second quarter, and the game was tied at the half.

“I thought we ran the ball better early in the game,” Carmean said. “We kind of had to get away from that when we fell behind by two touchdowns. We’ve got to do a better job of not getting behind the chains. That’s what really killed us (Friday) night.”

North Paulding received the opening kick of the second half, but on the first snap of the drive, it fumbled and Kennesaw Mountain took possession. Aiden Williams hit a 26-yard field goal with 9:25 left in the third quarter to give the Mustangs the lead.

North Paulding answered late in the third with another touchdown and added another score in the fourth to take the 21-10 win.

“I sound like a broken record, but I think we’re continuing to grow up,” Carmean said. “I know its crazy because we’re 0-9, but I still am excited about our team. I think that they continue to play better and better each week.”

Tyshon Jenkins and Welch were the Mustangs' leading rushers. Defensively, Jamal Thorpe intercepted a pass, and Justin Ested and Hudson Freise led the defense from their defensive end and linebacker positions.

“Regardless of score, regardless of record, our kids continue to show up every week with a mind to work,” Carmean said. “Then, they play through the echo of the whistle for four quarters every week. I think that’s a testament to the culture that we’re trying to create -- continue to play hard and eliminate the mistakes and the future is bright.”

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