By Melissa Meador
ABERDEEN – Faced with a matchup with 3A favorite Louisville next week, Aberdeen needed a big performance from its offense on Friday against Kemper County.
The Bulldogs piled up a 27-6 halftime lead and cruised to a 39-22 win behind a five-touchdown night from junior QB Josh Williams.
“We did pretty much what we wanted on offense. Defensively, we just have to do a better job of stopping the pass than we did tonight,” Aberdeen coach Mark Bray said.
Aberdeen (4-4, 2-0) went three-and-out on its opening possession of the game, but that would be one of the only times the Bulldogs wouldn’t find the end zone in the first half.
Williams found Jerrick Orr for a 35-yard score midway through the first quarter, then the Bulldogs recovered a Kelvin Bourrage fumble deep in their own territory.
Williams marched his offense down the field again, aided by a 23-yard run from Donta Carter, and eventually hit B.J. Williams for a 19-yard touchdown pass.
On the second play of Aberdeen’s next possession, Sammie Burroughs shook off a hard hit from a Wildcat after a catch and kept going for a 66-yard score.
“I’m still a little shaken up from that,” Burroughs admitted. “I knew when the ball was in the air, the safety was coming so I thought I might as well catch it and just take the lick.”
Williams added a 15-yard scoring run later in the quarter and made the two-point conversion for a 27-0 lead.
The Wildcats (6-2, 1-1) got on the board in five plays near the end of the second, capped off by Bourrage hitting Devontae Vickers for a 10-yard touchdown.
Tyler Fields’ 31-yard scoring run was the only score of the third quarter and put Aberdeen up 33-6. Kemper answered back with Bourrage throwing a pair of TDs to Dondre Andrews to cut into the lead, but Williams also threw in another scoring run for Aberdeen.
Williams passed for 134 yards and three scores and added another 136 yards and two TDs on the ground.
“We did all the little things and got back on track like we needed to,” Williams said. “It’s a big momentum builder we need going into next week.”