There’s never a bad time to have the best game of your career. Darbbeon Profit not only did it with style and hard-running flair, he did in Southern Lab’s biggest game of the season.
The junior running back chugged and churned, gaining a game-high 188 yards on 25 carries and three touchdowns to lead Southern Lab past fourth-ranked Kentwood on Friday night in a District 6-1A game at Louisiana Leadership’s Doug Williams Stadium.
“I just kept my legs moving,” Profit said. “Whenever they hit me, I just tried to keep moving.”
With the win, the Kittens (5-5, 4-0) claimed the District 6-1A crown. It was the Kittens’ first regular-season win over Kentwood (7-2, 3-1) in a decade.
“When we got into halftime, we told the guys this was the most important 24 minutes of their season,” SLHS coach Nick Mitchell said. “And we wanted to make sure what they knew what was at stake.
“We knew our offensive line (and Profit) would give us a chance to win if nothing else.”
Much of the pregame hype revolved around the quarterbacks, Southern Lab’s Bladrick Veal and Kentwood’s Shyheim Carter.
Neither was a huge factor. Veal finished 4-for-14 for 22 yards. Carter, an Alabama commitment as an athlete, was 6-for-20 for 31 yards and was intercepted twice. Darriyn McKnight led the Kangaroos with 48 yards on 13 carries and scored his team’s lone TD in the fourth quarter.
As for Profit, he outgained Kentwood. The Kangaroos finished with just 130 total yards.
“We came out and moved the ball on our first possession, didn’t get anything out of it, and from there, it just snowballed,” Kentwood coach Jonathan Foster said. “Penalties didn’t hurt us, but turnovers did.
“We were worried about getting beat deep (by Veal). What Southern Lab did was beat us at the point of attack, and he (Profit) ran it well.”
The first half was an offensive struggle for both teams. The only consistent weapon for either team was SLHS’ Profit, who had 91 yards on 12 carries and scored the lone TD on a 2-yard run with 8:48 remaining in the half.
Kentwood’s Carter managed 33 yards rushing on five carries but completed just 2 of 12 passes for 12 yards and was intercepted twice. Joseph McWilliams and Jonard Robinson had the interceptions for SLHS.
Kentwood’s Jaleel Hampton intercepted a Veal pass.
How dominant were the Kittens on defense? Kentwood didn’t record a first down in the second quarter. Shannon Forman II and Christopher Allen led the list of Southern Lab players who stopped KHS runners in their tracks for negative yardage.
Robinson’s interception less than a minute into the second quarter set up a 67-yard TD drive that ended with Profit’s TD plunge.
The Kittens added to their lead with an 11-play, 64-yard drive. Profit had a 23-yard run that matched his jersey number and scored on a 4-yard run that made it 12-0 with 2:15 left in the third quarter.
Profit saved his best for last, scoring on a 27-yard run. Javahn Ferguson ran for the two-point conversion to make it 20-0 with 10:18 left in the game.
From there, Ferguson and the SLHS defense continued to apply pressure.
“It was a matter of going all out for 48 minutes,” Ferguson said.