Preps: DCA's Kennedy adds another passing mark, aims to improve playoff record

Sunday, October 2, 2011 at 11:03pm

Kyle Kennedy reached a significant passing milestone last week.

Even so, the Donelson Christian Academy senior quarterback is much more interested in a little postseason success.

Kennedy broke the school record for career passing yards — and topped 1,000 for the season — Friday, when he threw for 233 and connected with his favorite target, Collin Johnston, for three touchdowns.  His 3,791 — and counting — the 3,646 of Rusty Thompson (1995-97).

Earlier this season, he set school records for completions and touchdown passes.

Kennedy, however, never has enjoyed a win in the playoffs. The Wildcats have gone one and out each of the past three seasons.

Painfully mindful of those disappointing defeats, Kennedy makes sure he does not look too far ahead this year. No state championship talk just yet.

“The goal is to win our first playoff game,” he said following DCA’s latest victory, 27-17 over Franklin Road Academy. “We haven’t been able to get past that first game.”

The rangy 6-foot-1, 170-pounder has a quick release, nice touch and smooth delivery. He also has a go-to guy in Johnston and numerous other options when he sets up in the pocket.

Through seven games, he has completed 79 of 139 passes (57 percent) for 1,092 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was 13-for-20 for 233 yards and the three touchdowns to Johnston in the victory over FRA.

“You couldn’t ask for a better receiver than Collin. He makes some great catches that make me look good,” Kennedy said. “We are on the same page, we have great chemistry. And it’s not just with Collin but all our receivers.”

Kennedy has an interesting Facebook page, which includes a video of a half-court shot he hit late last season in basketball against FRA. Finishing his senior season of football, and doing so later than usual is of utmost importance, though.

“We have to come to each practice, continue to work hard and remain focused,” he said.

Johnston's big night

Johnston doubled his number of touchdown catches with Friday’s effort.

Like his quarterback, the 5-foot-9, 155-pound speedster has put his name all over the DCA record book. He already holds every receiving mark.

“We’ve been teammates since middle school, then into high school these past three years,” Johnston said. “Kyle and I have ESP — we know what each other is thinking out there. He has a great arm, and whenever I’m open he finds me.

“He knows where I’m going to be at all times.”

In addition to his three touchdown catches against FRA, he scored another on a 77-yard kickoff return, which gave DCA the lead for good at 14-7 in the second quarter. Johnston capped his big night with a spectacular, leaping grab in the end zone over two defenders in the final quarter for a 35-yard touchdown that put the game out of reach.

Johnston is the son of former Brentwood Academy tailback Joe Johnston, who was a part of three straight state championships at BA (1980-82). The senior Johnston rarely misses a game.

“Kyle and Collin have great chemistry,” coach Dennis Goodwin said. “They’ve worked with each other constantly and have practiced together all summer. They’ve been a significant part of our offense ever since they started here.”

DCA (5-2), which opened the season with four straight victories, will take a week off then return to action Oct. 14 against Mt. Juliet Christian.

Goodwin gave his team Monday off, resulting in cheers at the post-game huddle.

“We needed a week off to get everyone healed up,” he said.

Despite injuries, FRA plows on: With the loss to DCA, FRA fell to 1-5 in an injury-filled season and left coach David Pack looking for answers.

Additionally, its losing streak against DCA reached 14. The Panthers haven’t beaten their rivals since 1997.

“Right now, [the injury situation] is not the issue, and we’re not using that as an excuse,” Pack said. “At this point, our problem is a lack of confidence, a lack of chemistry, things that I hope we’ll get back as we get toward the end of the season.

“We were certainly not expecting to be 1-5 at this point in the season. But our goal still is the playoffs, and that’s what we’re working toward.”

On a bright note, junior quarterback Matt Hissong rushed for 161 yards and a touchdown as the Panthers just missed the upset.

Senior running back Scott Looney, who missed the game due to injury, said he expected to be back next week against Ezell-Harding.

Disaster to success: Battle Ground Academy quarterback C.J. Beathard turned a disastrous situation into a huge success early in the Wildcats’ 33-21 win over Chattanooga McCallie Friday.

BGA was forced to punt on its first possession. But the snap was bad, and Beathard raced back near the goal line, picked up the ball and threw a pass to Jordan Tutler, which resulted in a 59-yard gain to the McCallie 11. BGA scored two plays later and started a stretch of six straight possessions on which it produced points.

Beathard also topped 1,000 yards passing. His 342-yard (23-of-35) night gave him 1,299 for the season.

Flatt still winning: Carlton Flatt racked up 355 career wins and 10 state championships during a Hall of Fame football coaching career (1970-2007) at Brentwood Academy.

He’s having more fun than ever these days coaching BA’s seventh and eighth grade team.

Last Thursday, his Eagles completed a perfect 6-0 season with a 20-14 win at Montgomery Bell Academy, their second win of the season over the Big Red (earlier, the Eagles came from 18-0 down to win 19-18).

Eighth-grade defensive end Chris Hopkins recovered up two fumbles and returned both for touchdowns in the first quarter. Then he intercepted a pass and returned it to the 1 where Julius King (the younger brother of former BA star Derek King, now at Vanderbilt) scored the next play.

Asked how much longer he would coach, Flatt, 68, laughed, and said, “I have no idea, but it’s great working with these young men.”

DA gets first win: Davidson Academy (1-5) finally won for the first time this season, 53-26 over Riverside Christian, as Aubrey Dixon scored four touchdowns and rushed for 191 yards.

The Bears have been plagued by injuries, along with a reported hazing incident.

Mustangs rebound: David Lipscomb, which had been shut out the past two games, rebounded with a 34-0 district triupmh over Whites Creek. Gabe Glimps rushed for three touchdowns for David Lipscomb, which got a boost with the return of injured quarterback Luke Simpson.

State Golf: The TSSAA Class AAA state golf tournament opens Tuesday at Willowbrook Course in Manchester and runs through Wednesday. Region 6 champions Brentwood High (boys) and Independence (girls) carry the area hopes for a team title.