KINDER —The Kinder Yellow Jackets did what they do best and advanced to the Class 2A state semifinals for the third consecutive year with a 44-6 win over East Feliciana on Friday night.
The No. 2-seeded Yellow Jackets advance for a rematch with rival Welsh, whom they defeated in Week 10 for the District 4-2A championship.
“It feels awesome,” Kinder coach Bret Fuselier said. “Anytime you are able to do this, it feels great. I am happy for these kids and the coaches.”
Senior lineman Robert Bruchhaus added: “This is unbelievable. Going this far three years in a row is is such a great feeling.”
The Yellow Jackets (12-1) used their usual hardnosed defensive style to cruise to victory. They have now outscored opponents 154-13 in three playoff games.
They held a usually potent rushing attack from East Feliciana (8-5) to just 39 yards on the ground.
“We wanted to start fast and we did. The defense did a great job,” Fuselier said. “They played disciplined football and tackled well, which gave us a nice lead at halftime.”
The Tigers were only able to run 36 offensive plays on the night, due in large part to the Yellow Jackets piecing together time-consuming drives — including their first of the game, which went for 76 yards on 18 plays to take 8:36 off the clock.
“In this offense, we really like getting those 3 and 4 yards at a time,” Fuselier said. “It keeps the opposing offense off the field, and more importantly it wears your opponent down. We pride ourselves on playing hard all four quarters so those drives are what we are looking for.”
Leonard Williams capped that opening drive off with a 4-yard touchdown run.
Taylor Johnson led the way for the Yellow Jackets offensively, rushing for 166 yards and a 4-yard touchdown on 33 carries.
Quarterback Welles Cooley added 84 yards rushing and 44 yards passing. He scored on a 67-yard touchdown run while Williams added 37 yards and two touchdowns.
The Yellow Jackets scored on all four of their first-half drives while holding the Tigers to just three first downs to lead 27-0 at halftime.
The Tigers finally forced the Yellow Jackets to punt on the opening drive of the second half and followed that up by getting on the board with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Carven Young to Ge’Montae Franklin.
Kinder followed up with an 18-play, 81-yard drive that took exactly 10 minutes off the clock and was capped off with a 27-yard field goal from Raul Barrera.
The Yellow Jackets’ final two touchdowns came late in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run from Trent Johnson and a 38-yard interception return by Thomas Roberts.