Haynesville rips Kentwood to advance to Class A final

Haynesville rips Kentwood to advance to Class A final


Haynesville rips Kentwood to advance to Class A final



As cold rain began to fall near midfield, the normally stoic David Franklin stopped and took a breath Friday night. The question was asked: “Does going to the Dome ever get old?”

The Haynesville head football coach worked hard to fight off the emotions of the moment.

“On that long bus ride back last year (after losing the state championship game to Ouachita Christian), those guys had one thing on their mind,” Franklin said.

Initially, Franklin was “worried” about letting his players look so far ahead.

Consider those worries dashed.

Behind a physical, yet explosive running attack, similar to those that have carried the Golden Tors to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for decades, Haynesville simply wore down the homestanding Kentwood Kangaroos “under the water tower,” and advanced to the LHSAA Class 1A state championship, 31-14.

The top-seeded 13-0 Tors will face No. 2 Mangham on Friday at 12:30 p.m.

“The day we got back from the Dome it started,” said Haynesville running back Tyus Early, who scored twice and ran for 140 yards Friday. “That Monday we were in the weight room going hard. The whole summer we worked to give us the opportunity to get bigger and stronger.”

The Tors took a 12-0 lead into the locker room at halftime, and then delivered a sobering message to the Roos when play resumed.

A 13-play, 65-yard drive that erased 7:36 off the clock was punctuated with a 10-yard touchdown run from CaVonte Critton.

“We told them coming out we needed to stop them. And we didn’t. It’s kind of over then,” Kentwood (9-3) head coach David Currier said.

There was plenty of emotion for the blue and orange as Currier announced Friday would be his last game as Kentwood’s head coach — ending a 30-year stint with the school (26 as the head coach).

“It’s kind of hitting me now,” Currier said as he was unable to fight back tears as he looked over his right shoulder at the scoreboard one final time. “I’m proud of our kids. I’m proud of what we’ve done here.

“It would have been a tough task to win (it all). We’re just aren’t good enough to beat a Haynesville right now.”

After playoff losses to the Roos in 2005 and 2007, Haynesville has now pulled off three straight in the series (2008, 2009, Friday).

Haynesville struck first Friday, scoring on its first possession of the game as James Jackson danced down the right sideline for a picturesque 43-yard touchdown. Not counting a drive that included one run and a kneel-down, the Tors had the ball just three times in the first half. With 3:55 left, Early busted through the middle for a 30-yard touchdown and a 12-0 lead.

On the possession following Haynesville’s statement drive in the third quarter, sophomore K.Z. Larkins stormed through the Kentwood line and blocked a punt. Teammate Kendrick Jackson recovered the ball at Kentwood’s 2.


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