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CRESTWOOD – The Collins football team bounced back from its season-opening loss in a big way on Friday night, slamming Class AAAAA South Oldham, 41-14.
Collins, the runner-up last season in Class 4A and coming off a 23-21 loss to Simon Kenton the previous week, jumped out to a 17-0 lead on the Dragons and never were challenged.
“I thought we got better tonight,” said Titans Coach Jerry Lucas, whose team has never lost consecutive games in the same season in its 3-plus years of existence.
The Titans couldn’t have gotten off to a much better start, stopping South Oldham on downs on its first possession then embarking on the longest scoring march of the game – 56 yards on 11 plays, including an 18-yard run by Ryan Watkins – that was capped by Blanton Creque’s 34-yard field goal.
When Collins forced the Dragons to punt on their second possession, the kick went forward but bounced backward for a net loss of 11 yards to South’s 17. Three plays later, Masai Whyte scored on a 1-yard plunge with 12 seconds left in the first quarter.
On the Dragons’ next possession Collins senior cornerback Elijah Jones picked off a pass by Chase Lightfoot, taking it away from a Dragons’ receiver Matthew Hamilton, and returning it 35 yards for a touchdown.
“It was beautiful – what a break on the ball,” Lucas said later. “That was a big-time play. I thought that broke the game [open] right there.”
The Dragons quickly answered with Lightfoot’s 63-yard touchdown pass to Starr Thompson, but that did little to slow down the Titans’ momentum.
They mounted a 10-play, 64-yard drive that quarterback Lawson Page finished with a 10-yard TD toss to Nathan Sames 48 seconds before halftime.
Collins added to its lead in the third quarter when Creque connected on his second field goal, this one a 43-yarder, to finish off a 10-play, second-half-starting drive.
The teams traded 10-play touchdown drives – the Dragons cut it to 27-14 on Kevin Kuriger’s 16-yard run followed by Lightfoot’s 2-point conversion pass to Thompson before Watkins scored on a 14-yard run with 1:08 to play in the third period.
The Titans tacked on another TD – a 1-yard run by Dre Farris – 14 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Watkins led the Titans with 95 rushing yards on 13 carries (an average of 7.3 yards per run).
“I thought Ryan Watkins ran fantastic,” Lucas said.
Farris, meanwhile, accounted for 105 yards of offense (72 rushing, 33 receiving) and one touchdown.
Page completed 11 of 21 passes for 112 yards and one touchdown for Collins, which amassed 292 yards of offense (180 rushing, 112 passing).
The Titans gave up 303 yards of total offense, including 202 on the ground, but much of that came in the second half.
“We played a lot of young kids tonight and I thought they really rose to the occasion,” Lucas said.
Collins hosts 6A Ballard at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Collins 41, South Oldham 14
Collins 10 14 10 7 – 41
at South Oldham 0 6 8 0 – 14
C – Blanton Creque 34-yard field goal, 2:45; C – Masai Whyte 1-yard run (Creque kick), 0:12. C – Elijah Jones 35-yard interception return (Creque kick), 11:00; SO – Starr Thompson 63-yard pass from Chase Lightfoot (kick failed), 8:35; C – Nathan Sames 10-yard pass from Lawson Page (Creque kick), 0:48. C – Creque 43-yard field goal, 8:27; SO – Kevin Kuriger 16-yard run (Thompson pass from Lightfoot), 4:50; C – Ryan Watkins 14-yard run (Creque kick), 1:08. C – Dre Farris 1-yard run (Creque kick), 11:46.
First downs 20 14
Rushes-yards 38-180 42-202
Pass comp-att-int 11-21-0 5-12-1
Passing yards 112 101
Total offense 292 303
Fumbles-lost 3-0 3-2
Punts-avg 1-24 2-13
Penalties-yards 7-58 5-30
Rushing – C: Ryan Watkins 13-95, Dre Farris 12-72, Lawson Page 5-23, Quintin “Pookie” Murphy 1-9, Antuan “Bushy” Wells 1-6, Masai Whyte 1-1, TEAM 2-0, Browning Becherer 2-(-4), Kyle Goss 1-(-22). SO: Kevin Kuriger 18-102, Chase Lightfoot 12-75, Starr Thompson 2-11, Conner John 2-7, Charles McGee 1-6, Daniel Propp 6-2, Dylan Smith 1-(-1).
Passing – C: Page 11-21-0 112. SO: Lightfoot 5-12-1 101.
Receiving – C: Farris 4-33, Nathan Sames 3-27, Jordan Parker 2-35, Landon Forrest 2-17. SO: Davis Culbertson 3-24, Thompson 1-63, Matthew Hamilton 1-14.
Tackling – C: Whyte 11, Wells 9, Leland Cardwell 7, Zach “Buck” Wilson 7, Becherer 5, Elijah Jones 5, Isaiah Jones 5, Murphy 5.