The Greyhounds ground out a 13-10 victory on the road over Riverwood on Friday to set up next week’s title contest against Kell for the No. 1 seed from Region 7AAAAA (B).
“That was a huge game for us because it locked us into at least second place for our subregion,” Kemper said. “We have Kell next week, they’ve got a great football team with a lot of good athletes, but we’re in a good spot.
“It was good to get out of here with a win. Our defense played outstanding.”
Pope’s defense allowed only 258 yards of total offense, and when called on late, the Greyhounds came up with its biggest stop of the game.
“(The last minute) felt like an hour to me,” said Kemper. “It was excruciating, but our kids played well, they kept playing hard and they made plays when we needed to.”
The defense, which forced three turnovers, including an interception that put the Greyhounds in position to score what would be the game-winning touchdown.
Quarterback Sam Yarborough, who finished 7-of-12 for 108 yards, threw a 13-yard pass to Logan Carr with 1:15 left in the third quarter to give Pope a 13-3 lead.
“I had some guys that made some plays and really (did their job) on the line,” Yarborough said.
Pope trailed 3-0 at the half, but it didn’t take long for the team to take the lead in the third quarter. Itabari Mason, who led the Greyhounds in rushing with 64 yards on 17 carries, scored from 2-yards out to put the Greyhounds in front 7-3.
Yarborough and Stephen Skruck split time at quarterback until the end of the first half when Skruck went down with an injury.
“I was nervous for him because he’s a great guy and I love playing with him every day,” said Yarborough. “I was excited about the opportunity, but I was nervous about whether he was going to be OK or not. He’s going to be all right, though.”