Kaplan's Quintlan Cobb sacks the quarterback and forces a fumble. (photo by Brett Hebert)
Kaplan has easy time in first game
KAPLAN - The Kaplan Pirates moved on to the second round of the Class 3A playoffs by knocking off KIPP Renaissance Bobcats 35-7 in ED Douglas Memorial Stadium.
No. 5 Kaplan entertains No. 12 Iota, who beat Patterson, 48-21, at home on Friday.
The Pirates ran for 392 yards while holding the Bobcats to 6 yards rushing and 114 yards passing.
Pacing the Pirates’ rushing attack was Kaplan tailback Mac Thibeaux. Thibeaux who ran for 159 yards on only 12 carries in the first half.
He finished with 180 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown. Fullback Braylon Romero had 92 yards (14 carries, 3 TDs) and Matt Roden rushed for 67 yards (6 carries) and one score.
For an offensive lineman to hear the running backs rushed for 390-plus yards is magic to their ears.
Guard Austin Stelly enjoyed hearing that large amount of yards.
“That means our offensive line stuck together and played Kaplan football,” said Stelly.
“I owe it all to the offensive line,” Thibeaux said. “Without them, I don’t have the holes to run through. They make our job easy by opening holes.”
The game was just about over at halftime. Kaplan led 22-7 and outgained KIPP 210 yards to 59.
The second half was worse for the Bobcats because their offense stayed off the field.
Kaplan ran 33 second half plays to the Bobcats’ eight.
To open the second half, KIPP wanted to onside kick the ball, but it bounced out of bounds and KHS took up shop at its own 40-yard line.
Kaplan was facing a third down and 16 from its own 30-yard-line, but thanks to two off-side penalties by the Bobcats, Kaplan was able to get a first down and keep the drive alive.
Fullback Braylon Romero and tailback Matt Roden took turns carrying the pigskin on the drive.
Roden had a long 33 yard run to set up Romero’s touchdown run from the 4 yard line.
The Pirates’ lead grew to 28-7.
On the kick off after the touchdown. the Pirates got a break when Reed Renfrow’s kick bounced off a KIPP player and Kaplan fell on it.
They marched 48 yards in 10 plays for another touchdown. Roden had three carries on the drive including a 9-yard TD run. Renfrow kicked the extra point to make it 28-7.
Kaplan held the ball for 11 minutes and 15 seconds in the third period.
The fourth quarter was not much better.
On KIPP’s first possession of the fourth period, defensive lineman Quintlan Cobb sacked the quarterback and also knocked the ball out of his hand and Kaplan defensive lineman Ashton Gaspard recovered it.
Kaplan did not score on that turnover, but it did eat up about seven minutes off the clock.
KIPP got the ball back but not long afterwards, Kaplan cornerback Nathan Sistrunk intercepted a pass, killing the Bobcats’ chance of scoring.