New Orleans -- The LHSAA football state championships kicked-off Thursday afternoon at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where Kentwood won the first game of the 3-day event. The Kangaroos, who lost in last year's title game, defeated the Oak Grove Tigers 40-21 to win the 1A State Title. This is their first football state championship since 2015.
"If you remember, our motto when we won it in 2015, they were freshman," said Kentwood Head Coach Jonathan Foster II. "A lot of them up here played. We came in this season and right before the playoffs we said 'We won one coming in. We're going to win one going out.' What better way for these seniors for them to win a state championship. I'm so happy for my boys. I can't say enough."
Top-seeded Oak Grove took the early lead, with an Otis Moore pick-6 on the Kangaroos' first play from scrimmage. The Tigers led 14-13 through the first quarter, but a 13-yard touchdown reception by Edward Magee early in the second quarter put the 'Roos in front for good. One of the big differences in the game was in the turnover battle, with Kentwood causing 4 turnovers. Oak Grove had the one interception returned for a touchdown in the first quarter, and then a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown in the third. Aside from those two defensive scores, their offense was only able to score one touchdown. Kentwood also had a solid game plan when it came to picking apart and adjusting to the Tigers' defense.
"We were a bad match-up for Oak Grove because Oak Grove was great at stopping the run," Foster said. "I think we had 20 yards rushing the whole game tonight. We knew that we were going to win the game on the perimeter. A lot of people know about Trey Palmer, but 6 (Radarrian Robbins) is a great player, 11 (Edward Magee) is a great player. Jariet Brown, number two, stepped-up. Then the offensive line, we don't ask them to do a lot but you know just quick-hitting plays. Our [offensive coordinator] dialed it up today. We just knew we were going to be able to beat them on the perimeter, which we did. You saw Oak Grove's D-line. We weren't even trying to mess with them boys. We were going to win the game on the outside so I'm so happy for us."
Kentwood senior quarterback, Terrell Hookfin, Jr. was named the game's most outstanding player.