The task was stopping Portageville running back Antonio Scott and the ball-control of head coach Ashley Swims' offense.
The 6'0, 170-pound senior poured in 148 yards on 24 carries to lead the Bulldogs' 255-yard offensive performance. Dontavis Jones led the Indians with 64 yards rushing while Kennett finished with 162 total yards.
The Indians (1-4) had five crucial turnovers in the contest and three in which they were driving in Bulldog territory.
Starting quarterback Jordan Penn seemed to have the Bulldogs clicking on all cylinders in the contest before dislocating his left elbow in the second quarter, leaving backup C.J. Medley to handle the snaps.
Before leaving the game, Penn rifled a pass to Casey Ash for a 25-yard touchdown for the game's first score. Medley added the extra point at the 5:57 mark in the first quarter.
During the opening quarter, the Indians had the football for only 1:30 before Danny Ragsdale punched it in from one yard out. Alando Edwards 91-yard kickoff return down to the Portageville two set up the game-tying score.
Portageville (4-1) executed a 13-play, 64-yard drive for their second score. Scott scampered home from 13-yards out behind a critical block from Spencer Martin. Following the Medley PAT, the Bulldogs reclaimed the lead with 10:35 in the second stanza.
The next two Bulldogs possessions, the Indians forced them to punt and set up great field position in the process. Dontavis Jones on a sweep to the strong side ran for a 15-yard gain, however, was stripped and Portageville recovered on the Indian 40.
On the play, Jones's knee appeared to be down, yet the play stood and the Bulldogs added another score.
Medley found Aaron Kershaw for a 20-yard strike. After the missed PAT, the Bulldogs led 20-7 which was the score at the intermission.
After a quick rain storm, Ragsdale picked off a Medley pass that was intended for Martin and returned it 41-yards to give the Indians some much needed momentum. Will Pruett added the PAT and the Indians trailed 20-14 with 4:35 to go in the third.
The Bulldogs turned the ball over on downs on their ensuing possession thanks in part to a huge sack by Darius Shavers. The Indians were faced with a fourth-and-two situation and Robert Lockett was stopped in an effort to pick up the first down.
The next two possessions would be turnover bound for the Indians as Medley picked off Lockett with seven minutes left to play.
After the defense held up on the next series for the Indians, a costly tipped pass at the line of scrimmage cost them their final turnover of the night. Lockett was picked by Leonard Boyd.
Scott broke loose for a 30-yard TD run that appeared to seal the game, but on the ensuing kickoff Jones broke the ball to the PHS 46 and gave the Indians one last drive.
Corderro Taylor caught a pair of tipped pass from Lockett including a 14-yard TD catch for the Indians final score. With 17 seconds remaining, the onside kick by Pruett was recovered by Tyler Fowler.
Kennett head coach Ronnie Jones was frustrated about how the contest ended.
"You can't just keep doing the same things that we are doing," Jones said. "Really, right now I don't think anybody has got the answer. We have got kids just broken-hearted tonight because they did work extremely hard getting ready for this bunch."
Coach Jones also credited the offense of the Bulldogs.
"We came out and just didn't maintain the ball long enough," Jones said. "I thought one of the biggest things was the time of possession. Portageville worked the clock real good, they had one delay but it was right there in the last seconds. What can you say about Antonio Scott? Any body that was here at this game tonight knows that he is a very, very good football player. He kind of threw them guys on his shoulders and carried the load tonight."
With Foster being the Indians leader on defense, Coach Jones spoke about the hard work that he has brought to the ballclub.
"They never quit on me, "Jones stated. "It is hard for people like Ben Foster, He gets up every week and works and works. You get out here and lay it on the line, get so close and it is frustrating. Last-second things happen to us. Kid gets hit in the arm, the ball pops up and they intercept. Just different things but the defense really did give us the opportunity. We let this one get away from us, but we have still got some weeks to go and we are going to keep working at it."
Swims said the uncertainty of Penn's year is unknown.
"He dislocated his elbow as far as I understand," Swims said. "We are not sure what the prognosis for him next week is going to be so as of right now he probably won't play."