INDIANAPOLIS — Kokomo’s football team shook off a slow start to whip Arsenal Tech 52-27 in a North Central Conference game Friday night.

The Wildkats (4-3 overall, 3-2 NCC) trailed 21-11 in the second quarter before surging to a 24-21 halftime lead. The Kats scored three times in the third quarter to win going away.

Kokomo coach Austin Colby anticipated a slow start with the Kats playing for the first time since Sept. 25. Kokomo had to cancel games against Logansport and Harrison because of COVID restrictions.

“We started slow and overcame it,” Colby said on the WIOU postgame show.

The first half dragged on as the teams combined for 20 accepted penalties.

Once the Kats found a rhythm midway through the second quarter and into the third quarter, they quickly pulled away from the Titans (2-6, 2-4).

“It seemed like our kids started to have more fun, we got some confidence, the referees seemed like they got into the swing of things,” Colby said. “It was one of those things where everything kind of clicked right at once. It was a very smooth game after that.

“There were a few more penalties [in the second half], but nothing like the first half.”

The Kats finished with 447 yards of offense — 325 rushing and 122 passing.

Plez Lawrence had 169 rushing yards and 76 receiving yards. He scored five touchdowns. Torian Smith had 95 rushing yards and a touchdown and Ta’Shy Stewart had three receptions, including one for a score.

Stewart and Smith also came up big on defense. Stewart had two interceptions and a team-high 12 tackles. Smith also had two picks. Myles Lenoir had nine tackles.

Kokomo has a week off before facing McCutcheon in the opening round of Class 5A Sectional 12.

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