Big plays, turnovers pace Kentwood to state title over Oak Grove, 40-21

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NEW ORLEANS – If Oak Grove does not see Kentwood anytime soon deep in the state playoffs, the Tigers will not be displeased.

Facing Kentwood for the third time in four years with a potential state title on the line, Oak Grove came up short as the third time was not the charm.

The third-seeded Kangaroos downed the top-seeded Tigers 40-21 in the opening game of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Prep Classic Class 1A state championship game Thursday afternoon at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Kentwood defeated Oak Grove 27-14 in the 2015 Class 1A semifinals and 19-7 in the 2017 semifinals.

Lightning struck quickly for Oak Grove. On the first play from scrimmage, Otis Moore intercepted T.J. Hookfin’s pass in the flat and returned it 31 yards for a score to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead just 15 seconds into the game.

After a one-yard kickoff, the Kangaroos responded with a quick score to tie it, using just two plays. Hookfin connected with Edward Magee on a 40-yard pass to the one-yard line before Larry Carter scored on a one-yard run to make it 7-7 with 11:27 to play in the first quarter.

Magee then came up with a huge play on defense, intercepting a pass from Kameron Holloway.

On the next play, LSU commit Trey Palmer threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Hookfin to make it 13-7 with 8:03 to play in the quarter following a missed extra point.

Oak Grove (13-1) responded with a 14 play, 65-yard drive, capped off by a four-yard touchdown run by Moore and James Clack converted the extra point attempt to give the Tigers a 14-13 lead with 14 seconds to play in the quarter.

Early in the second quarter, the Kangaroos drove 53 yards in five plays to retake the lead as Hookfin hit Magee on an 11-yard touchdown pass to make it 20-14 with 10:51 to play in the half.

The Kangaroos (12-2) expanded their lead with a textbook drive, covering 99 yards in 14 plays, scoring on a one-yard touchdown run by Carter to make it 27-14 with 35 seconds to play in the half.

The Kentwood defense came up big on the opening drive of the second half when Kejuan Magee drilled Moore, forcing a fumble and Bryce Cooper recovered at the Kangaroos 39-yard line.

One play later, Hookfin connected with Radarrian Robbins on a 61-yard touchdown pass and Kentwood stretched the lead to 33-14 with 9:55 to play in the third quarter.

On the next Oak Grove possession, Cooper forced another fumble, this time Wyatt Rawls, and Cooper recovered for Kentwood at its own 36-yard line to stop a Tiger drive.

The Oak Grove defense then came up with the big play when Hookfin completed a short pass to Palmer and Ladarius Ward forced a fumble, recovered and returned it 45 yards for a score to cut the deficit to 33-21 with 1:37 to play in the third quarter.

Once again, an Oak Grove turnover killed the Tigers as Holloway was picked off by Anthony Holden, who returned it to the Oak Grove 44-yard line with 10:26 to play in the game.

The Kangaroos took advantage, putting the game away, driving 44 yards in eight plays with Hookfin scoring on a four-yard run to make it 40-21 with 5:39 to play in the game.

Kentwood amassed 422 yards of total offense while the Kangaroos forced four Oak Grove turnovers.

Hookfin was named the Most Outstanding Player for Kentwood. He completed 17-of-26 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns with one interception and rushed seven times for 48 yards and a score. Hookfin also caught the 36-yard touchdown pass. Cooper finished with 8.5 tackles, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. Magee had five catches for 80 yards and a touchdown and added an interception on defense.

Moore was named the Most Outstanding Player for Oak Grove. He rushed 16 times for 92 yards and a touchdown and had an interception and half sack on defense.

The championship is the ninth in school history, tying Kentwood for fifth all-time in Louisiana history with Istrouma and Tallulah. It is the second for current head coach Jonathan Foster, who guided the Kangaroos to the 2015 Class 1A title.

FINAL
Kentwood 13 14 6 7 40
Oak Grove 14 0 7 0 21

Scoring
1st Qtr.
OG—Otis Moore, 29-yard INT return (James Clack kick)
KENT—Larry Carter, one-yard run (Cornelius Dyson kick)
KENT—TJ Hookfin, 36-yard pass from Trey Palmer (kick failed)
OG—Otis Moore, 4-yard run (James Clack kick)

2nd Qtr.
KENT—Edward Magee, 11-yard pass from TJ Hookfin (Cornelius Dyson kick)
KENT—Larry Carter, one-yard run (Cornelius Dyson kick)

3rd Qtr.
KENT—Radarrian Robbins, 61-yard pass from TJ Hookfin (kick failed)
OG—Ladairus Ward, 44-yard fumble recovery (James Clack kick)

4th Qtr.
KENT—TJ Hookfin, four-yard run (Cornelius Dyson kick)

Individual Statistics
KENT rushing
TJ Hookfin 7 carries for 48 yards, 1 touchdown
Larry Carter 12 carries for 34 yards, 2 touchdowns
Trey Palmer 8 carries for 29 yards

KENT Passing
TJ Hookfin 17-of-26 for 264 yards and 2 touchdowns, 1 interception

KENT Receiving
Jariel Brown 6 catches for 62 yards
Edward Magee 5 catches for 80 yards and 1 touchdown
Radarrian Robbins 4 catches for 93 yards and 1 touchdown
Trey Palmer 3 catches for 40 yards
TJ Hookfin 1 catch for 36 yards and 1 touchdown

OG Rushing
Otis Moore 16 carries for 92 yards and 1 touchdown
Wyatt Rawls 11 carries for 29 yards
Kameron Holloway 7 carries for 10 yards
Ladairus Ward 3 carries for 7 yards

OG Passing
Kameron Holloway 2-for-5 for 12 yards, 2 interceptions
Braden Sullivan 1-for-2 for 11 yards

OG Receiving
Wyatt Rawls 2 catches for 12 yards
De’mon White 1 catch for 11 yards

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