Kennesaw Mountain 47, Sprayberry 3

Sprayberry corner back Caleb Moss (7) is unable to stop Kennesaw Mountain running back Jah Welch (21) from scoring a touchdown in the second half of play at Kennesaw Mountain High School Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. (Daniel Varnado/For the AJC)

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Sprayberry corner back Caleb Moss (7) is unable to stop Kennesaw Mountain running back Jah Welch (21) from scoring a touchdown in the second half of play at Kennesaw Mountain High School Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. (Daniel Varnado/For the AJC)

The Kennesaw Mountain football team made the playoffs last year for the first time since the school opened in 2000, but the Mustangs are now playing like they’ve got a lot bigger goals this season.

The Mustangs (4-0, 2-0) defeated visiting Sprayberry 47-3 Friday night to improve to 4-0 for the first time in program history. It was their second consecutive victory against a 2020 playoff team from Region 6-6A and left the Mustangs tied with Pope for first place in the region. But Kennesaw Mountain has established itself as the team to beat.

The Mustangs opened region play last week with a 22-21 victory over defending region champion Allatoona, and they’ll travel next week to Kell, the region runner-up in 2020.

“Like I just told the guys, we’ve got to bring our A game every week because you’re going to get everybody’s best shot,” Mustangs coach Caleb Carmean said. “There’s a lot of talent here, but at the end of the day, if we don’t play together for all four quarters and in all three phases of the game, we’re not going to have that success. So we’re going to keep the hammer down and get ready to roll on Monday.”

Junior quarterback Cayman Prangley threw five touchdown passes, three of which went to Savion Riley, who entered the Week 4 games as the fourth-leading receiver in Class 6A. Three of Prangley’s touchdown passes came in the first half as Kennesaw Mountain built a 26-3 lead. He attempted just five passes in the second half with the game in hand and finished 12-of-20 for 258 yards.

Riley had six receptions for 100 yards. Jah Welch ran for two touchdowns, and freshman Chance Arthur led the Mustangs with 71 rushing yards on 20 carries.

Kennesaw Mountain had a three-and-out on its first possession of the game and fumbled on the first play of its second, but the Mustangs were almost unstoppable after that, scoring on four of their next five drives. Prangle threw two short touchdown passes to Riley and a 43-yarder to Ryan Forehand in the half.

Kennesaw Mountain increased the lead to 30 points with a touchdown on its first possession of the third quarter on a 6-yard pass from Prangley to Earl Kyle.

Sprayberry (1-2, 1-1) scored its only points midway through the first quarter after Dang Tran recovered a Mustangs fumble at the Kennesaw Mountain 18-yard line. Kemari Nix threw a 17-yard pass to Jermaine Kenty on the next play to give the Yellow Jackets first-and-goal at the 1. However, losses on consecutive running plays and an incompletion on third down resulted in a 21-yard field goal by Caleb Prickett that gave Sprayberry its only lead of the game.

“That was huge by our defense,” Carmean said. “We talk all the time about playing complementary football, and our defense dug us out of a hole three or four times today, and that was just a huge one right there.”

Sprayberry - 3-0-0-0 - 3

Kennesaw Mountain - 13-13-7-14 - 47

First quarter

S - Caleb Prickett 21 field goal, 7:36

K - Jah Welch 1 run (kick failed), 4:02

K - Savion Riley 5 pass from Cayman Prangley (Ty Roldan kick), 1:55

Second quarter

K - Ryan Forehand 43 pass from Prangley (Roldan kick), 11:16

K - Riley 1 pass from Prangley (pass failed), 3:29

Third quarter

K - Earl Kyle 6 pass from Prangley (Roldan kick), 8:49

Fourth quarter

K - Riley 14 pass from Prangley (Turner Johnson kick), 10:40

K - Welch 8 run (Johnson kick) 2:37