KAUFMAN — With a big win over rival Jacksonville behind them and a matchup with defending state champion Chapel Hill looming next week, it could have been easy for the Palestine football team to fall into at trap game here against Kaufman.
For a half, it looked as if the Wildcats might have.
But, two big plays in the fourth quarter helped the Wildcats put some distance between themselves and the Lions, and Palestine went on to a 24-10 victory over Kaufman and Lion Stadium.
“It’s a funny game because we had some big plays that we missed opportunities on, but then we turned around and made big turnovers and (running back Jadarrius) Beasley makes a big run,” PHS coach Lance Angel said. “It was a night when we could have had a lot of big plays, but in the end we got the big plays that we needed.”
Palestine only led 3-0 at the half, but finally got into the endzone in the third quarter.
After forcing Kaufman to punt on its first possession of the half, the Wildcats drove down 63 yards for their first score.
Jarrell Owens capped the drive for the Wildcats with a 12-yard run off of left tackle, giving Palestine a 10-0 lead.
Immediately after Kaufman took over after the kick-off, Palestine’s defense picked up where the offense left off and forced the Lions into a three-and-out, or so it seemed.
After Kaufman quarterback and punter Clay Rhodes bobbled the snap for the punt, he barely got the kick off before two Wildcats converged on him.
On of those players ran into Rhodes, drawing a penalty flag for roughing the punter that extended the drive.
The Lions used that opportunity and drove down the field, until Palestine again forced a third down at its own 30.