Friday night, October 9, the winless Little Axe Indians traveled to Kingston to face the undefeated Redskins in each team’s third district game. The Indians had scored for the first time all season the week before in their 39-6 loss to Pauls Valley and hoped to build on that going into this game.
The Redskins looked to continue their hunt for the district crown but needed to ensure they did not overlook the Indians. Kingston came out and thoroughly dominated the game, winning 70-0.
That domination started from the very first snap.
With the Indians taking over at their own 22 after receiving the opening kickoff, Little Axe’s junior quarterback Kolby Shuck dropped back to pass but was hit from behind by Kingston senior defensive lineman Jesse Rose, jarring the football loose.
Junior Brandon Watson scooped up the loose ball and returned the fumble all the way to the end zone, giving the Redskins a 7-0 lead just eight seconds into the game.
Little Axe responded to the disaster with one of the Indians’ best drives of the night. On third down, Shuck hit freshman receiver Jesus Kirkes down the left side for a twenty-seven-yard gain and a first down at the Kingston 48.
However, three downs later, Shuck’s pass on fourth down was intercepted by senior Matthew Hawkins, who put the Redskins back in business at their own 45.
Kingston came out passing on its first offensive play, as senior quarterback Jase Hayes threaded the needle to Watson over the middle, moving the ball to the Little Axe 27.
Six plays later, after multiple pounding runs, Hayes pushed across the goal line on a quarterback sneak to give the Redskins a 14-0 lead.
Little Axe senior Corey Shackleford muffed the ensuing kickoff and allowed it to go out of bounds at the Little Axe 9, putting the Indians in a deep hole. Unable to move the ball effectively, the Indians unsuccessfully tried to convert a fourth-and-two, turning the ball over on downs at their own 18. The Redskins needed only one play, a handoff to senior running back Matthew Flesher, to cover that distance and make the lead 21-0.
Things continued to unravel for the Indians, as they went three-and-out again the next drive. Shuck attempted a quick kick on fourth down, but Kingston junior Hayden McKinney blocked the kick, and Kingston took over at the Little Axe 14. Two plays later, Kingston scored again, as Brandon Watson took the ball into the endzone and the Redskins led 27-0.
The disastrous first quarter wasn’t over yet for the hapless Indians. Recovering a low snap, Shuck was plowed by Rose, who knocked the ball loose again, and Kingston junior Bryson Ellisor recovered the loose ball at the Little Axe 14. This led to a threeplay drive, all featuring runs by Kingston senior Jarron “Boomer” Morgan, who scored from three yards out to give Kingston a 34-0 lead.
There was one more score waiting for the Redskins in the first quarter. After the turnover, Little Axe put in junior Hunter Henderson at quarterback.
Henderson’s first pass was picked off by Hawkins in the left flat, and Hawkins returned the interception twenty yards into the endzone as time expired in the first quarter, with Kingston now leading 40-0.
Not much improved for the Indians in the second quarter. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Henderson threw the ball to Kingston junior Grant Holmes, and Kingston took over again at the Little Axe 20. A rare Kingston miscue, a fumbled snap, gave the Indians the ball back at their own 10 three plays later.
The Indians were unable to capitalize on the Kingston error, as their drive went backwards for three plays. Flesher ended the drive when he tackled Kirkes in the endzone for a safety, giving Kingston a 42-0 lead.
After receiving the free kick, Kingston’s first play of the ensuing drive was yet another score, as “Boomer” Morgan took a handoff 73 yards to paydirt, extending the Redskins’ lead to 49-0.
Not yet halfway through the second quarter, the officials started running the clock to try to bring an end to the suffering.
However, Kingston had two more scores in the second quarter, as Flesher scored on a 39-yard run on the Redskins’ next drive, and the second quarter ended much as the first had, with Shuck, back in at quarterback, throwing another interception, this time to senior Colton Robinson. Robinson returned the pick 25 yards for another Kingston touchdown for the final play of the half, and Kingston led 63-0 at the break.
With a running clock, Kingston’s reserves brought the game home, with the only scoring a fourth-quarter quarterback sneak by sophomore Klete Finley, and Finley also intercepted Shuck on the final play of the game, giving Kingston a 70-0 final margin.
Hayes completed all three of his passes for 68 yards, scoring a touchdown on the ground. “Boomer” Morgan led all rushers with 86 yards on 4 carries and two scores. Three Redskins receivers, Hayden McKinney, junior Braden Matchen, and Brandon Watson, each had a single catch in the game, with Watson’s 28-yarder on Kingston’s first play from scrimmage leading the team. On defense, with senior Bryant Watts held out of the game for precautionary reasons, Rose and Ellisor tied for the team lead in tackles with six apiece. Rose also had three sacks and forced two fumbles on the night. Overall, Kingston’s offense
Overall, Kingston’s offense scored every time it touched the ball, with the exception of the drive in the second quarter that ended with the bad snap, and a drive that extended over the entire third quarter and ended with a turnover on downs at the Little Axe 7.
On the other side, Little Axe only picked up three first downs the entire game, two of them coming on the Indians’ final drive in the fourth quarter. The Indians ran only four plays in Kingston territory, and their deepest penetration was to the Kingston 39 on the game’s penultimate play.
Kingston Head Coach Tommy Bare felt that the Redskins gave an “outstanding performance in all three phases” of the game. Most important for him though was that Kingston had “another district win and came out healthy.”
With the victory, Kingston (3-0 in district, 6-0 overall) is set up for a Fall Break showdown with Sulphur (3-0, 4-2) on the road Thursday night. The Bulldogs dispatched Pauls Valley (1-2, 3-3) 41-7 on Friday night, and like the Redskins, have dominated their district games, winning by an average score of 53-4 over Little Axe and Madill (1-2, 2-4) as well as the Panthers.
The winner of this matchup will take sole possession of first place in the district. Kickoff at Sulphur is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday.
It is hard for Kingston to take anything instructive out of a game like this one, with such an enormously inferior opponent. However, the Redskins did get everyone some playing time, and no one was injured, leaving Kingston as close to full strength as possible for the Sulphur matchup.
One thing that is great about our community is the road support Kingston fans provide. Even at remote locales, the Kingston faithful turned out in droves to support their Redskins.
Meanwhile, there was a different view on the other side of the field Friday night. Little Axe has had a terrible season. For the casual fan, it can be hard to justify a four-hour round trip to watch another slaughter of your home team. However, it is hard to be
However, it is hard to believe that less than twenty fans made the trip - less than one parent per player, to say nothing of the visiting cheer squad that outnumbered their fans. That sort of showing makes it much easier to appreciate Kingston’s loyalty to its Redskins.
The District 3A-2 picture continues to clarify as we move through the schedule. Kingston and Sulphur are tied atop the district, both with undefeated records in district play that will be on the line on Thursday night.
Meanwhile Lone Grove (2-1, 4-2) blew out Dickson (0-3, 0-6) 49-0 to hold onto third place, while Plainview (2-1, 2-4) is in fourth place by total points after the Indians= 42-34 victory over Madill (1-2, 2-4). The rest of the district consists of Madill in fifth place, followed by Pauls Valley in sixth (trailing Madill by two net points), and then winless Dickson and Little Axe are tied for last.