Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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August 31, 2013

Banged-up Wildkats fall to Generals

FORT WAYNE — Kokomo’s football team endured a rash of mistakes and injuries in a 39-13 loss to Fort Wayne Wayne on Friday night.

The Wildkats (0-2) built a 13-6 advantage in the second quarter, but the lead slipped away under the weight of special teams breakdowns. The Generals (2-0) scored on a 77-yard kickoff return to knot the score at 13-all and then scored on a 52-yard punt return to surge into the lead.

The Generals took a 27-13 lead into halftime. Kokomo threatened in the third quarter, but a pair of turnovers deep in the red zone halted the Kats’ comeback bid, and Wayne pulled away for the 39-13 final.

Kokomo coach Brett Colby said the Kats lost nine starters to injuries over the course of the game. Two-way standout Tayler Persons left with an apparent knee injury and the Kats lost at least a pair of players to possible concussions.

“You try to tell [backups], ‘Get out there, it’s your shot to shine, make a play.’ But it was rough,” Colby said on the 1350-AM postgame show. “... We probably have two or three kids who are going to be out for at least two or three weeks, I imagine. That is tough to overcome.

“I told the kids before the game, ‘When adversity comes, you see what kind of character we have.’ It’s adversity time right now, there’s no doubt about that.”

Kokomo endured a shaky start against Wayne on the hot night. The Kats’ first two possessions ended in turnovers and the Generals took advantage of good field position following the first one to score a quick touchdown for a 6-0 lead.

Kokomo steadied the ship and, taking advantage of a Wayne turnover, put together a nice scoring drive to knot the score at 6-all in the final minute of the opening quarter. Persons capped the drive with a TD run.

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