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Fourth-quarter rally not enough for KF

Trailing 21-0 going to the fourth quarter, King’s Fork got within one possession of coming back against Indian River, but the home-standing Braves hung to a 21-13 victory in a Southeastern District football game on a surprisingly dry Friday night at Indian River.

Hanna held off for the evening as the Braves and Bulldogs battled, but an Indian River storm quickly put KF down by two touchdowns in the first period.

After the Bulldogs went three-and-out to start the game, IR took over on the KF 31. On IR’s first play from scrimmage, VanDyke Jones took a pitch from quarterback Frankie Hamrock, went around the right end, cut down the sideline, and scored.

KF’s next possession included two sacks and went three-and-out. On the KF punt, Jones blocked A.J. Harper’s punt. Jones’ big play on special teams set up the Braves at the KF 20. Three plays later, Joshua Sneed scored on a 3-yard run. IR led 14-0 with 3:47 left in the first period.

From there, the Bulldog defense tightened and kept KF in the contest.

KF’s next possession came to a quick end when Laray Kindred and Derek Bennett fumbled a handoff and IR recovered at the KF 17. The Bulldog defense forced the Braves into a 37-yard field goal attempt and on the attempt, Stephen Riddick came in off the left corner and blocked the kick.

IR added another touchdown late in the half with Hamrock lobbing a 7-yard pass into the end zone for 6-foot-5 receiver DeAndre White to cap a 78-yard drive.

The third period was made up of one IR drive which resulted in no points, but took more than six minutes off the clock; then a march by KF down the field which ended in an incomplete pass on 4th-and-8 from the IR 24 in the first minute of the fourth quarter.

In that drive, Kindred completed a couple passes and Harper and Bennett worked to move the chains on the ground.

KF held IR to a three-and-out and took over on the KF 41 with 10:38 to go. A 15-yard IR penalty and two good runs by Bennett moved the ball to the IR 29. From there, Kindred found Mike Mason with a deep ball into the right side of the end zone for a touchdown. Allen Kelly’s kick made it 21-7 IR with 8:26 to go.

“When we scored to make it 21-7, I told Laray that with four minutes to go, we’d by within a touchdown,” said KF head coach Joe Jones.

Actually, the Bulldogs did better than their coach’s prediction. After another three-and-out for the IR offense, a low snap on the punt attempt meant no punt and Jeff Super recovered the loose ball on the IR 18.

Harper gained 10 yards, then seven yards, on rushes to give KF 2nd-and-goal at the 1. Kindred scored on a sneak from there. Kelly’s point-after kick was blocked, leaving IR up 21-13 with 5:11 left.

One more time, the KF defense and special teams responded, giving their team one last chance. It was three-and-out again for IR, and on the punt, Super got a piece of the kick. The Braves were fortunate to have the ball roll to the KF 49.

With just under three minutes to go, KF converted a 3rd-and-9 thanks to a pass interference call on IR’s first-half hero, Jones. KF advanced as far as the IR 31, but an 11-yard loss on an option pitch play to Harper put KF in a long-yardage situation.

A third-down pass intended for Mason down the right sideline went incomplete and a 4th-and-15 pass from Kindred toward Derek Wright down the left sideline fell incomplete.

“We knew it would be hard to come back from three touchdowns versus a team like that, but we had our chances at the end,” said Jones.

“If we take that effort through all four quarters, I think we can play with anyone.”

For KF, Kindred finished 5-for-14 passing for 64 yards. Harper led KF in rushing with 46 yards on 12 carries.

KF (1-1, 0-1) hosts Western Branch next Friday night. The Bruins have defeated Churchland and Nansemond River, defeating the Warriors 41-0 on Friday, through their first two weeks.