KINGSTON — The Kingston senior football players did more than exchange gifts and hugs Friday on Senior Night. They led their team to a playoff-clinching win, ensuring a third consecutive trip to the postseason.
The Redskins took a 34-14 home win over Coalgate, prolonging their own season while ending the Wildcats’ playoffs hopes.
It’s not known with certainty how long it’s been since a class of seniors at Kingston were on playoff teams three consecutive years, but all agree it’s been some time. While the Redskins’ work is by no means done, head coach John Caraway is delighted and proud that the seniors will take that memory with them.
“It’s a goal that’s in front of them and it would mean a lot to them to accomplish it,” Caraway had said in advance of the game.
The Redskins (3-3 in district 2A-4 and 5-5 overall), entered the contest knowing that a 10—point victory would punch their ticket to the postseason. They led by that much after only four minutes had elapsed, after touchdown catches by Marcus Burleson and Jake Patterson.
By halftime, the ’Skins had pushed that lead to 28-0. The Wildcats, however, had no intention of ceding their playoff berth without a fight, and they responded with two straight scores in the third period, trimming the deficit to 14 points.
The Redskins struck back with what proved to be the game’s final score when junior Tanner Holland found the end zone for his second rushing touchdown of the night.
Senior Jared Hayes was once again a force as a passer, rusher, and defensive back. Senior Dalton Blankenship set up one of the scores with a long run, and made several key stops.
The Redskins will travel to Washington Friday for the first round of the Class 2A State Playoffs.