Kemper County quarterback De’Onte Rush completed 16-of-23 passes for two touchdowns and 287 yards Friday night.
Kemper County quarterback De’Onte Rush completed 16-of-23 passes for two touchdowns and 287 yards Friday night.
By Steve Swogetinsky

Kemper Messenger

The Kemper County Wildcats rolled up more than 400 yards in offense but penalties proved to be their downfall as they lost a 36-32 decision at West Lowndes last Friday night.

The Wildcats will be back in action this Friday night when they play host to the Raymond Rangers. Last week, the Rangers lost a 32-26 decision to Amite County. Their victory came in a 16-13 win over Wingfield High School.

The Wildcats are still looking for their first victory and Coach John McKenzie said it was coming.

“We are so close,” McKenzie said. “Our guys can see it. It is little mistakes that are holding us back. We are hard to overcome them. But we aren’t going to be discouraged.”

West Lowndes jumped out to a 12-0 lead on a 47-yard run and a 16-yard run in the first quarter. Ricardo Windham put the Wildcats on the scoreboard with a 14-yard run. De’Onte Rush passed to Tracy Cole for the two-point conversion and the Wildcats trailed 12-8.

West Lowndes added a touchdown on an 18-yard pass to increase its lead to 18-8. Kemper County came back with another touchdown of its own as Jamar Grace caught a 37-yard TD pass from Rush. Rush ran in the two point conversion and the Wildcats trailed 18-16.

Kemper County took the lead later in the second quarter when Rush scored on a one-yard run. The try for two failed and the Wildcats would lead 22-18 at the half.

West Lowndes scored in the third quarter to retake the lead, 24-22. Later in the quarter, Aaron Steele caught a 33-yard TD pass from Rush and the Wildcats led 28-24.

West Lowndes retook the lead on a pass play to give his team a 30-28 lead. And again the Wildcats made a big play to score. On the ensuing kickoff, Jordan Little returned the ball 80 yards for a touchdown.

Kemper County led 32-30. But West Lowndes scored with two minutes left to claim the victory.

Rush had a big night as he completed 16-of-23 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns. He was intercepted twice. Rush had three rushes for 12 yards and one touchdown.

Grace finished with six catches for 135 yards. Windham caught four passes for 86 yards. Cole had three catches for 59 yards while Steele had three catches for 49 yards. Windham had 14 runs for 102 yards.

Ishmael Naylor had 12 tackles and two sacks. Windham and Aaron McCoy both had eight tackles. Dion Windham had six tackles and an interception while Heaven Coleman had four tackles and an interception. Tyler Griffin had three tackles and a sack. Jakylan Bourrage had three tackles.

The Wildcats were penalized 20 times during the game which cost them at least one touchdown.