Isabella outlasts Vincent for region win

Published 10:29 pm Friday, October 20, 2023

By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Two second-half interceptions by Isabella High School’s Dre’Von Lee boosted the Mustangs to a 35-28 win over Vincent High School on Oct. 20. Lee’s two picks were two of five turnovers forced in the second half by Isabella.

The win moves the Mustangs up to the three seed in the AHSAA Class 2A Region standings with one region game left.

Trailing 21-14 at halftime, the Mustangs erased the deficit quickly in the third quarter as Jediah Works returned a Vincent fumble 40 yards for a touchdown. Eli Kendrick punched in a short touchdown run to put Isabella on top 28-21 after three quarters.

“Our offense never really got stopped, we just stopped ourselves … I was very proud of them,” Isabella head coach Tate Leonard said. “The defense really played at a high level (tonight), and this was the first game we had everybody back (from injury). It was a great win for our program.”

The fourth quarter started with Isabella forcing two more Vincent turnovers, and the second leading to a 26-yard touchdown connection from Kendrick to Lee. Lee had seven receptions for 73 yards and a touchdown. Kendrick threw for 97 yards, but rushed for 185 on 25 carries and three touchdowns.

Vincent’s Casen Fields had a short touchdown run later in the fourth quarter, and the Yellow Jackets had the ball last with a chance to tie. However, Lee’s second interception sealed the win for the Mustangs.

Isabella took the opening kickoff and drove for six as Kendrick capped the drive with a nine-yard touchdown run to put Isabella up 7-0 where the score stood after the first quarter.

Down 21-7, Isabella composed themselves and put together a drive just before halftime that got Kendrick into the end zone from four yards out to make it a one possession game, 21-14.

“We have not played our best football yet, and tonight was close to our best football and that was our goal all week,” Leonard said. “I do not care what seed we are, we just want to get into the show and make some noise to see what happens.”

Isabella (6-2) travels to Woodland High School on Oct. 27 for its next game, the last of its Region 4 schedule. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.