BENTON, Tenn. -- Coach Blair Harrison's Kingston Yellowjackets returned to Benton to face Polk County for the third time in the past four seasons to open the TSSAA Class 3A football playoffs.
The previous two times, the Yellowjackets were forced to make the long ride home to hang up their pads after Polk County won a physical contest. Friday, though, Kingston made sure 2012 would be different, taking charge from the start and winning 49-14.
Seventh-seeded Kingston (7-4) dominated the second-seeded Wildcats (7-4) throughout. The Yellowjackets scored on seven of their nine possessions, including the final possession of each half in which they ran out the clock. Kingston ran the wing-T offense with near-flawless execution, racking up nearly 400 total yards.
Kingston took the opening kickoff and drove 67 yards on 11 plays, culminating with fullback Brody Roberts' 5-yard touchdown run. Keaton Shillings added the first of his seven extra points to make the score 7-0 with 6:49 remaining in the opening quarter.
Polk looked to answer on the ensuing drive, driving 79 yards to the Kingston 4 but turning the ball over on downs.
The Yellowjackets proceeded to march 96 yards on nine plays to make the game 14-0 early in the second quarter. They rattled off three more second-quarter touchdowns, highlighted by Aaron Acosta's 26-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Roberts' third-quarter score invoked the mercy rule on Polk County for the first time in the Wildcats' history.
Despite the lopsided and unexpected loss to end the season, Polk County coach Derrick Davis spoke highly of his team.
"Tonight doesn't diminish how I feel about these guys, especially the seniors," Davis said. "Obviously this is not how we wanted the season to end, but we just have to move forward and get ready for next year."
As he has been all year for the Wildcats, junior Zach Miller was a huge bright spot. He racked up 232 rushing yards on 23 carries, including a 78-yard second-quarter touchdown run. Miller ended his junior campaign with 1,928 rushing yards.