Jake Kee proved Gatesville is not a one-man team.
While quarterback Cole Edmiston is undoubtedly the engine that makes the Hornets’ well-oiled machine go, he is not the offense’s only option.
In the regular-season finale at Liberty Hill, junior running back Kee carried Gatesville to a 48-25 victory by rushing for 244 yards and four touchdowns, including three in the game’s first 12:08. Kee entered the contest averaging 83.1 yards per game, but his outburst helped the Hornets secure their first undefeated regular season since winning the Class 3A, Division I state championship in 2000.
“I just handed him the ball and watched, and he was out the gate,” Edmiston said of Kee’s performance. “He’s a fantastic running back. He runs hard, he’s fast, he’s learning to be patient, and I just have all the confidence in the world in him and the linemen to make the blocks.”
On the second play from scrimmage, Kee ran for a 30-yard touchdown, and after the Panthers turned the ball over on downs on the following possession, he struck again, breaking free for a 50-yard touchdown run out of a wildcat formation.
Less than 20 seconds into the second quarter, Kee converted a third down by running 34 yards into the end zone, giving Gatesville a commanding 28-0 advantage before adding a final scoring run of 51 yards late in the third quarter.
Like Edmiston, Kee gave credit to his linemen for allowing him to excel.
“I don’t know what to say about (the offense as a whole),” Kee said. “Our line did an excellent job for us, and I just ran as fast as I could.”
Kee’s performance could not have come at a better time as Edmiston suffered through an uncharacteristic showing. But even when he struggles, Edmiston still finds ways to make an impact.
The senior completed eight of 18 passes for 153 yards and threw his fourth interception of the season and ran for a meager 5 yards after entering the game averaging 209.1 passing yards and 85.4 rushing yards per game. Nevertheless, two of his completions resulted in touchdowns as he connected with senior Tyler Jaynes for 78- and 20-yard scores.
“It is just execution,” Edmiston said. “The linemen executed, we all executed, and if we do that every week, we can run what we want to run. (This game) shows it right there.”
By the Numbers
- 13.3 — Average yards per play Salado allowed McGregor in a 55-28 season-ending loss. The Eagles (2-8, 2-5 13-2A, Div. I) surrendered 598 yards of total offense, including 262 rushing on 29 carries and 336 passing on 16 completions for the Bulldogs.
- 9 — Florence punts as they were shut out 56-0 by Cameron Yoe and held to 53 yards of offense.
- 46 — Difference between the rushing yards for Lampasas (365) and passing yards for Burnet (319) in the Badgers’ 29-27 loss to the Bulldogs.
- Gatesville (10-0) vs. Alvarado (7-3), Division II-3A bi-district playoffs at Waco Midway — Gatesville is back in the playoffs for the first time in three seasons, and despite playing the third-place finisher from District 7-3A, the Hornets could be in for a tough time. The Indians averaged 38.2 points per game compared to the Hornets’ 38.3, and the defenses are extremely similar, with Gatesville allowing 17.2 per game and Alavarado giving up 14.8. Where they differ, however, is in their offensive approaches. The Hornets are extremely balanced and can win in a variety of ways, while the Indians are a straightforward running team, producing 287.4 of its 377.4 yards per game on the ground.
Contact Clay Whittington at email@example.com