The running of Jordan Shelton and too many flying yellow hankies proved to be too much for the Alvin Yellowjackets to handle Thursday night.
Shelton rushed for 218 yards and four touchdowns, as the Kempner Cougars outlasted Alvin 39-35 in area football action at Mercer Stadium.
James Smith also delivered a big night on the ground with 139 yards on 13 carries and the Yellowjackets’ senior tailback also hauled in a long scoring pass to account for all five Alvin touchdowns.
However, the Jackets (0-2) were also guilty of committing 11 penalties for 105 yards, including a personal foul flag, which negated a third down stop by the Alvin defense late in the contest. The Cougars went on to score the go-ahead and eventual game winning TD two plays later.
“We just had some self inflicted things happen to us,” Alvin head coach Buddy Hardin said following the game. “That’s something we’re not going to put up with this year. We’re going have to fix that. We played hard and came back from 14 down.
“There were a lot of good things that happened.”
Coached by former Jackets’ assistant Darrin Andrus, the Cougars’ flex bone attack opened the contest like they were going to blow Alvin away early, jumping to a 14-0 advantage in just their first six offensive plays.
Shelton exploded 53 yards to the goal line less than two minutes into the affair and following an Alvin punt, the 5-8, 180-pound senior rambled 39 yards to paydirt to give Kempner the initial two-touchdown cushion.
“It’s kind of those things we talked about, you don’t see it (the flex bone) much,” Hardin said. “We finally adjusted a bit, but they did a good job of cutting our kids and so forth.
“I did feel better about our offense. It looks like we’re starting to jell a little bit more. They’re starting to understand more the scheme of it. We’ve just got to fix a few more little things.”
Following a seven-yard loss on the ground and a Cougars’ defensive sack, the Jackets found themselves in a precarious third-and-18 situation. However, Alvin signal caller Wyatt Fields lofted a perfect strike to Smith in stride near midfield and the senior speedster outraced Kempner defenders to the end zone for the Jackets’ initial tallies with 4:45 left in the opening period.
Aleric Hernandez hammered the extra point through the uprights to cut the gap to 14-7.
Despite forcing a Kempner punt on their next series, the Jackets gave the ball right back to the Cougars on a fumble at the AHS 23-yard line. Shelton capped the six-play drive with a one-yard run and QB Jalen Bates added a two-point conversion run with 10:35 remaining in the second period to make it 22-7.
The Jackets refused to fold, though, as Smith broke loose for a 71-yard scoring gallop, while Alvin defensive lineman Julio Montoya recovered a Kevvion Clark fumble at the Cougars’ 31-yard line on Kempner’s ensuing series to set up Smith’s eight-yard run to help Alvin close within 22-21.
“He (Smith) is a good one,” Hardin said. “He has ability and he can run. But the best part about him is that he’s a good kid. He’s a hard worker and he doesn’t talk back. He says yes sir and no sir.”
Chris Ponce booted a 25-yard field goal to give the Cougars a four-point cushion at the break, while Jaden Hannah’s five-yard rush increased Kempner’s advantage back into double digits at 32-21 late in the third quarter. However, the Cougars committed another costly turnover a few minutes later with a muffed punt paving the way for Smith’s 20-yard scoring run. After Alvin forced a Kempner punt from deep in its own territory, Smith capped a six-play, 39-yard march by scampering eight yards to give the Jackets their first lead and D`Trayl Dunning’s two-point PAT run pushed the margin to 35-32 with 7:28 left.
The Jackets’ defense then tackled Bates for an apparent five-yard loss on third-and-two, only to have the personal foul negate the stop and Shelton cashed in with a 48-yard ramble two plays later to give the Cougars the upper hand for good.
Alvin was held to three-and-out on its next series and Kempner ran out the remaining four minutes on the clock.
Alvin next hosts Katy Tompkins on Sept. 14 at AISD Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m.
This will be the first meeting ever between the schools.
YELLOWJACKET FOOTBALL NOTES - Junior linebacker Angel Lopez had to be carted off the field after suffering an unknown injury early in the second half.
The Alvin freshman orange squad blanked Kempner 18-0 on the road Wednesday night. The Jackets first scored on a RJ Freeman eight-yard run.
Colt Powledge connected with Elijah Harris on a 25- yard TD pass and John Hoffma... Click here to read full article