By Colby Gordon / American-Statesman Correspondent
Posted at 6:43 AM
Kendall Thomas and his fellow Stony Point seniors vowed over the summer they wouldn’t end their prep careers without beating Cedar Ridge.
In fact, Stony Point as a program had never defeated the Raiders.
That all changed Friday, as Thomas put on a show with 271 yards and four touchdowns rushing while he and his classmates made good on their offseason pledge by knocking off Cedar Ridge 42-32 at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex.
“It’s historic,” said Thomas, who scored on runs of 12, 72, 5 and 1 yards. “We’re glad to be the team that could change it. We talked about it all offseason and all week. We’re just glad we could come out here and execute and get it done.”
As a team, the Tigers rushed for 372 yards — quarterback Kyle Overton adding 69 yards and a TD on the ground — and finished with more than 500 yards of offense.
“I’ve always felt like we can throw the football — and we can — but you have to run the football to set that up,” Stony Point coach Craig Chessher said. “Our offensive line did a phenomenal job tonight. … We’ve been able to run the football so far this season, and this is a big win.”
The game’s crucial stretch came early in the fourth quarter.
After Cedar Ridge (2-3, 1-2 District 13-6A) took a 32-28 lead on Jalen Brown’s 8-yard touchdown pass to DJ Rountree, the Tigers answered with a 76-yard scoring drive that took less than three minutes and was capped by Thomas’ third touchdown.
“That was big,” Chessher said. “At that point you could see the momentum was on their side and we were struggling, and then all of a sudden, bang! We come out with that.”
“It was a big energy boost,” added Thomas. “It lets us know that if we get down, it doesn’t mean anything, we just need to keep fighting and we’ll come back.”
Stony Point (4-0, 2-0) pushed its lead to double digits a few minutes later when it recovered a fumble on the Raiders 1 and Thomas scored on the next play.
“This is a game we could have lost, but our kids have resiliency and played really well in the fourth quarter,” Chessher said. “It feels good right now to have won. This was a shootout.”
It certainly was in the first half, as the teams went back and forth for seven touchdowns.
Overton crossed the goal line on a 22-yard bootleg to open the scoring, with Cedar Ridge answering on Deuce Vaughn’s 12-yard run.
Thomas then sandwiched his first two touchdown runs around Brown’s 5-yard scoring jaunt, and Overton hit Samuel Colis on a 34-yard scoring strike late in the second quarter to put the Tigers ahead 28-15.
Vaughn — who finished with 126 yards rushing — made an impressive 21-yard TD catch near the side of the end zone just before halftime to bring the Raiders within 28-22.
Cedar Ridge kicker Chase Camp hit a 37-yard field goal to mark the only scoring of the third and set the scene for the fourth.
When Tim Landry came up with an interception in the final minute to end the Raiders’ final possession, the Tiger sideline went into a frenzy, as it solidified the seniors’ offseason vow and kept Stony Point’s undefeated season in tact.
“As a senior, it’s fulfilling,” Tigers linebacker Kevin McMillan said. “It feels like all that hard work we’ve put in during the four years here, we’ve made something of it. I’m excited and really hopeful for the future just to see where we can take all this energy and this talent.”