Red Devils Move Into District Hunt With Win Over Bartow, 31-7
Fri. October 05, 2012 at 11:00 p.m. | By Polk Preps Staff
By DEL MILLIGAN
LAKELAND | Kathleen smothered Bartow with special teams and defense, rocking the Yellow Jackets 31-7 on Friday night in a key district prep football game.
"That's been the strength of my team,'' Kathleen coach Irving Strickland said.
Kathleen improved to 4-2 and 1-1 in Class 6A, District 10, in the hunt after Lake Gibson upset fourth-ranked Winter Haven Friday night. Bartow is 3-3, and 0-1 in the district.
"If we beat Lake Gibson (now 1-0 in the district while Winter Haven is 1-1), we're in a three-way tie for first place,'' Strickland said.
That game is Oct. 26 at Lake Gibson.
Kathleen scored touchdowns on a blocked punt, and tipped another Alex Montes punt deep in Bartow territory to set up another score in front of 1,000 fans at Johnny Johnson Stadium.
Cornerback Javon Harrison took the sap out of Bartow with a 23-yard pick-six against Bartow quarterback Dimitri Leverett on a pass tipped up by his receiver with 7:48 left in the third quarter for a 24-7 lead.
Linebacker Antonio Jenkins scored Kathleen's first touchdown, recovering the blocked punt in the end zone.
Kathleen's defense shut down Bartow's running game, holding the Yellow Jackets to 64 yards on 31 carries and forcing Bartow into five fumbles, although it lost only one.
Conversely, Kathleen running back Rovonta Johnson sprinted 69 yards up the middle, practically untouched with Bartow in a prevent defense, for a touchdown with 38 seconds left in the first half, just 16 seconds after Bartow had cut the lead to 10-7 on a 27-yard pass from Leverett to Roy'Qies Graham.
After a sluggish start and a scoreless first quarter — the game was delayed one hour to 8 p.m. because of lightning in the area — Kathleen shifted gears and went to the zone option read on running plays, with Johnson and fellow halfback Anthony Ware gashing the defense up the middle.
"We tried to confuse them,'' Strickland said. "And we wanted to get up on their 'backers.''
Kathleen did just that, with Johnson gaining 105 yards on just 13 carries, while Ware darted for 73 yards on 16 carries including a 4-yard touchdown run following the tipped punt to cap the Red Devils' scoring with 11:24 to play.
Bartow 8 0 7 0 0 — 7
Kathleen 8 0 17 7 7 — 31
KHS — Omar Carvajal 39 FG (9:10)
KHS — Antonio Jenkins recovered blocked punt in end zone, Carvajal kick (2:19)
BHS — Roy'Qies Graham 27 pass from Dimitri Leverett, Alex Montes kick (0:48)
KHS - Rovonta Johnson 69 run, Carvajal kick (0:32)
KHS — Javon Harrison 23 interception return, Carvajal kick (7:48)
KHS — Anthony Ware 4 run, Carvajal kick (11:24)
BHS | KHS
First downs 10 13
Rushes/Yards 31/64 45/206
Passing 9-18-1 4-13-1
Passing Yards 84 27
Total Yards 148 233
Fumbles/Lost 5/1 2/0
Punts/avg. 6/26.0 3/35.7
Penalties/Yards 7/55 11/100
Records 3-3 4-2
Rushing: Bartow - Michael Walker - 12-38; Kathleen - Rovonta Johnson 13-105.
Passing: Bartow - Dimitri Leverett 4-10-1 for 84 yards; Kathleen - A'Treyu Farrior 4-13-1.
Receiving: Bartow - Roy'Qies Graham 3-59; Kathleen - Javon Harrison 3-19.