Southern Lab blanks Kentwood in second half to win battle of Class 1A powers
BATON ROUGE – The Southern Lab Kittens will enter the LHSAA playoffs with their claws out as the top-ranked team in Class 1A defeated the Kentwood Kangaroos 28-9 for their eighth consecutive victory.
Running back Tyrion Davis led the way for Southern Lab (9-1, 5-0). He carried the ball 28 times for 206 yards, four touchdowns, and a pair of two point conversions; scoring all 28 points for the Kittens.
Trailing 9-8 at the half, Southern Lab scored 20 unanswered points over the final two quarters.
The Kangaroos were plagued by turnovers, committing four total, along with a number of penalties and overall sloppy play. The loss dropped Kentwood to 8-2 overall, 3-2 in divisional play.
Kentwood struck first as they broke a scoreless tie late in the first quarter when Shawn Bates fought his way into the end zone from one yard out. The Kangaroos went 15 yards in 4 plays after recovering a fumble by Southern Lab quarterback Tavien Brown.
The Kangaroos had a shot to go up by two scores, but Terrell Hookfin’s pass was intercepted in the end zone by Edmond Weber, ending the threat.
Later in the second quarter, the Kittens defense forced a Kentwood punt. The snap sailed over the head of Labrandon Cooper and was recovered at the Kangaroo 29 yard line.
Working with the short field, Lab went to Tyrion Davis and Davis carried the ball three times on the five play drive for 23 yards including the six yard touchdown. He also ran in the two point conversion, giving the Kittens an 8-7 lead.
Kentwood turned it over for the second time on their next possession when Hookfin fumbled the snap.
With the ball back after a 32 yard punt return by Raddarian Robbins that put them at the Kittens’ 44 yard line, Kentwood moved down to the 22 before Hookfin threw his second pick of the night. This time it was Dakota Day with the big play.
The miscues continued, but this time it was Southern Lab making the mistake. After losing 15 yards after the pick, the Kittens faced third and long from their own six.
Under pressure, Travon Myles scrambled back into the end zone where he threw the ball into the ground to avoid the sack. Intentional grounding was called, resulting in a safety and a 9-8 lead they would carry into halftime.
Southern Lab went back to its workhorse Davis time and time again in the second half and he came up big.
On the opening drive of the third quarter, Davis ran three times for 32 yards, including a 25 yard touchdown to put the Kittens back in front, 14-9.
After posting three-and-outs on their first three possessions of the half, the Kangaroos turned the ball over on their fourth. Tavien Brown had the ball knocked loose and Southern Lab recovered at the Kentwood 42.
The Kittens took advantage quickly as a pair of Travon Myles runs put Southern Lab deep in the red zone. Moments later, Davis got score number three, this time from six yards out to extend the lead to 20-9.
Davis put the cherry on top in the fourth quarter with his fourth TD and his second conversion. On his final scoring drive, Davis accounted for all 36 yards.
After missing out on the playoffs last season, the Kittens may be preparing to claw their way to the Superdome. If they make it, Tyrion Davis will be leading the way.
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Sports 1280am host/CCS reporter
David Grubb has more than a decade of experience in the sports industry. He began his career with KLAX-TV in Alexandria, La. and followed that up with a stint as an reporter and anchor with WGGB-TV in Springfield, Mass. After spending a few years away from the industry, David worked as sports information director for Southern University at New Orleans…