Boaz Pirates take down Crossville Lions in region kick off

Left, Hunter Haston (4) and Joni Diaz (55) try to stop Kadin Bennefield (21) of Boaz.

Boaz rebounded from a disappointing loss a week ago and kicked off region play to beat Crossville 48-7 Friday at Dr. L.F. Corley, Jr. Stadium in the Class 5A, Region 7 opener.

The Pirates offense overcame a sluggish start and relied on its defense before exploding for 27 points in the last seven minutes of the first half.

Kadin Bennefield rushed for 165 yards on 12 carries and scored three touchdowns. Through three games Bennefield has scored 10 touchdowns.

Boaz’s first scoring drive came after Crossville turned the ball over on downs at its 48.

Carter Lambert completed passes of 29 and 7 yards to Jaquez Kelly and then kept himself on a 2-yard touchdown run with 7:06 left in the second quarter. Gerardo Baeza added the point after for a 7-0 lead.

On Crossville’s second play of the following possession, Kolby Lesley fumbled and Kelly recovered at the Lions 21.

It took the Pirates only two plays to punch it into the endzone, Bennefield ran for 16 yards followed by a 5-yard run for the score. Baeza kicked the PAT for a 14-0 lead with 5:57 left in the half.

Crossville punted on the ensuing possession and Boaz took over at its 48.

Again it took only two plays to reach paydirt. Lambert picked up 22 yards on a keeper then hit Keaton Kennedy on a 30-yard touchdown pass. The point after failed and the lead was 20-0 with 3:09 left in the half.

Crossville went three-and-out on the next possession and Boaz called timeout after second and third downs to stop the clock to preserve time.

That clock management paid off because after forcing a punt, Boaz got the ball back at midfield.

Lambert had passes of 16 yards to Kelly and 7 to Kennedy along with a 12 yard run before scoring on a 15-yard run with 49 seconds left in the half. Baeza added the PAT for a 27-0 halftime lead.

The Pirates first scoring drive of the third quarter came following a Lions punt. A six-play, 60-yard drive was capped by a Bennefield 3-yard touchdown run. Baeza’s kick made it 34-0 with 3:40 left in the third quarter.

Colton Adkins fumbled three plays into the following drive and Tanner Lacey recovered for Boaz at the Crossville 38.

Bennefield added his third touchdown of the night with a 29-yard run on fourth-and-1. Bennefield then ran for the two-point conversion to push the lead to 42-0 with 1:44 left in the third.

Crossville then drove to the Boaz 7 before turning the ball over on downs.

Two 15-yard penalties against Crossville moved the ball out to the 37, where Cade Whorton scored on a 63-yard run with 10:43 left in the game. The two-point try failed and Boaz led 48-7.

Crossville’s lone scoring drive began at the Boaz 30 after the Pirates turned the ball over on downs.

It took the Lions five plays and Lesley capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run. Quentin Chapman added the point after.

The Pirates offense amassed 419 total yards, 303 on the ground. Lambert completed 10 of 16 for 116 yards.

Crossville had 123 total yards, all on the ground as the Lions didn’t attempt a pass. Adkins led the way for the Lions with 54 yards rushing on 14 carries.

Boaz improved to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in region play and will travel to West Point Friday. Crossville fell to 0-3 and 0-1 and will host Guntersville Friday.

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