Good field position and tough Peabody-Burns defense set the tone for the convincing 46-0 victory at Solomon on Friday. The opening kick-off by Kornelius Skotaam put the Gorillas at their own 10 yard line for the first series of the game. PBHS defense pushed the Solomon squad back to the 6 and a short punt followed to put the Warriors deep in Gorilla territory.
With only 20 yards to cover for the first points in the contest, Clayton Philpott earned a first and goal on two carries to set up the team at the 6-yard line. Brooks Hodges picked his way through the defense for the score. Braxton Kyle added 2 on the conversion with a run to the left side of the goal line.
“That first defensive series set the tempo for the game,” Hodges said. “We were all excited to stop them and used that momentum to punch the ball in for the score.”
Less than a minute later an interception by Dakota Reynolds put the ball back in the hands of the Warrior offense at the Solomon 26. The drive ended with a 3-yard rushing score by Philpott in the right corner of the end zone.
The conversion pass misfired but PBHS was up 14-0 just minutes into the competition.
Even though the Skotaam kickoff pinned the Gorillas at their own 15, they put together a drive to get to the Warrior 15. On fourth-and-5, the Solomon running back took the direct snap but was smothered by Kiefer Larsen.
After Kyle and Hodges combined for a new set of downs, the Warriors offense went to the air attack. Kyle connected with a long pass to Kevin Baatrup who finished his trek in the end zone. The 51-yard pass gave PBHS a 22-0 advantage.
Early in the second quarter, the PBHS offense began at their own 14 and put together a drive that included runs from Hodges, Kyle and Philpott. On third-and-6 at the Solomon 7, Kyle earned 6 on the ground. He connected with Philpott for 2 on the conversion pass. With 7:19 left in the period, PBHS was up 30-0.
Warrior defense held Solomon to a net of 12 yards. A Baatrup punt return put the PBHS squad midfield to begin the next scoring drive.
On first down, Kyle took off down the right sideline and covered 41 yards for the score. A pass to Philpott gave the Warriors a 38-0 lead with 4:02 left in the half.
Up 38-0 at the half, PBHS came back to finish the contest in just one series after the break. Working a short field, a second-and-goal 10-yard run by Philpott gave the team a 44-0 margin. Kyle ran for two and PBHS ended the game 46-0, less than two minutes into the third quarter.
“Tonight was about realizing full potential,” said Coach David Pickens. “It was a hard battle and the players made a lot of right decisions. Our senior leadership showed that they can reinforce how tight the team really is. Many things went our way because we have the personnel that prepares all week. We set goals every week and we realized many of them tonight.”
One of the goals of the team is to keep the opponent at their end of the field. Kicker Skotaam aided that quest with three of six kickoffs into the end zone. Skotaam, a foreign exchange student from Norway, is thoroughly enjoying his first experience with football.
“This team is great. They have welcomed me and make me feel like I am one of them,” said Skotaam. “They explain things to me to help me learn. It is hard work but it is worth it.”
Kyle was two-for-five in the passing game with one score. He had nine runs for 76 yards and two touchdowns. Philpott had 10 carries for 81 yards and two scores. Kyle had nine runs for 47 yards and one touchdown. Baatrup had one reception for 51 yards and a score.
Reynolds led the defense with five tackles. Kaden Gibson followed with four-and-a-half. Hodges earned four tackles and collected two sacks.
Up next for the team is a trip to Flinthills/Rosalia.