It took just 12 seconds for the Martin Luther King High Cougars football team to score as many points Friday night as they’d give up the whole game.
Takeem Ford’s game-opening kickoff return for a touchdown started a night that would see the Cougars defeat the Lincoln High Railsplitters before an audience at Benjamin Johnson Memorial Stadium that included cameras from Comcast Network, which aired the game.
The good start continued with a Cougars onside-kick recovery, but a fumble on a subsequent play cost MLK chance to take an instant two-touchdown lead on its foes. But, they got that 12-point cushion with 6:39 left in the first quarter.
Runs by Ishmael Dargan and a reception by wide receiver Emmanuel Clarke allowed Quarterback Joseph Walker to slip in to the end zone on a draw.
Solid defense on both sides
By halftime, each team had given up a turnover on downs after long drives; King defensive back Edward Marshall intercepted a pass and Walker fumbled in the backfield after being hit by a blitzing Railsplitter.
On the first drive of the second half, two big penalties put the Railsplitters inside the Cougars 15-yard-line. After a false-start penalty took them back to King’s 20, quarterback Devon Thompkins found a receiver in the end zone to cut MLK’s lead to six.
Those would be Lincoln’s only points on the night.
King answered on the next drive with long runs by Devonte Hunter followed by another Walker quarterback-keeper; a successful two-point conversion drove MLK’s lead to 20-6.
King would add to their lead with a third Walker rushing touchdown and a quick pass for six to Clarke.
Addressing the team’s previous first-quarter hiccups this season, Head Coach Ed Dunn said, “I guess we learned our lesson. That’s what it takes.”
Then, he chalked up the team’s ability to climb from an 0-2 record to the current 3-2 mark.
“It’s not about what we did out there,” Dunn said. “It’s about what we did during the week. That jawn was pretty.”
Next up for the Cougars is a Friday night home game against the West Philadelphia High Speedboys. Both teams are 3-2 on the season, having played two common opponents so far.
While MLK defeated Bartram 32-15, West Philly lost the opening game 6-0. Both teams have defeated Dobbins as well.