Fullback Brandon Wade had his best game as a Cherokee and the Kendrick defense forced three turnovers as the Cherokees shut out Temple 34-0 in Region 5-AA action Thursday night at Kinnett Stadium.
Wade finished the game with 92 yards rushing and two touchdowns for the game equally divided in the first and second half, 46 yards and one TD in the first and the same totals in the second.
"We put in some new sets for the game, and the inside running was working, so we stayed with it," Kendrick coach Jerry Dukes said. "It helped open up everything else, and (Wade) had a good game."
To emphasize that Kendrick planned to run the ball, the Cherokees took the opening kickoff and ran 11 straight running plays, with Wade scoring from the 6-yard line and then running in the 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead that the Cherokees never relinquished.
With the running game piling up yardage, that allowed Johnathon Hines to open the passing game, and he did just that. He hit two of two passes in the first half; both of those were for touchdowns to wide receiver Dover Coppins, one for 18 and another for 60.
Those two scores made it 22-0 at halftime for the Cherokees.
"We felt that Coppins could get behind the secondary, and he did one on a slant and the other on a go pattern, and Hines got the ball to him both times," Dukes said.
Coppins' 60-yarder was set up when Reno Cook intercepted a Temple pass from Elijah McFarland and brought it out to the 40 before Hines hit his touchdown.
In the second half, the Cherokee defense put points on the scoreboard as McFarland fumbled and Cook was at it again, scooping the fumble and running 31 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-0.
Triston Dowdell recovered a second McFarland fumble in the third period, and Wade capped the drive off with a 36 yard TD run to end the scoring.
"I told the players that we needed to put together four quarters of football, and we did that tonight," Dukes said. "Now, we will go on the road to face Bremen there in another region game."
This was also the first win for Kendrick in the young series between the two teams. The Cherokees had lost the two previous meetings.
Thursday at Kinnett Stadium
Temple 0 0 0 0 - 0
Kendrick 14 8 12 0 - 34
K--Brandon Wade six run (Wade run), 7:08
K--Dover Coppins 18 pass from Johnathon Hines (run failed), 1:18
K--Coppins 60 pass from Hines (Wade run) 9:01
K--Reno Cook 31 fumble return (run failed), 9:49
K--Wade 36 run (run failed), 4:08