Sunnyvale was seconds away from snapping its early-season losing skid, but Kennedale had other ideas, kicking a field goal as time expired to claim a 28-27 victory on Friday at Wildcat Stadium.
The hard-luck loss drops them to 0-3 on the season as they turn their attention toward their first home game against Carrollton Ranchview at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Raider Stadium.
Sunnyvale got off to an ideal start, as a lengthy drive culminated in a 37-yard field goal by Jake Pecina to take a 3-0 lead.
The Raiders then opted to roll the dice with an onside kick and it paid off when they recovered to set themselves up in Kennedale territory.
Aided by a fourth-down conversion, Sunnyvale cashed in its chance when Jake Taylor found the end zone on a 3-yard run to push the advantage to 10-0.
It stayed that way until the second quarter, when the Wildcats finally broke through on a touchdown run by Marlete Joyner to get on the scoreboard.
Sunnyvale needed just one play to respond, as Max McAda hooked up with Noah McDill on a 75-yard scoring strike to make it 17-6.
Kennedale had an answer, as well, as Ife Adeyemi broke free for a long touchdown run to draw to within 17-13 and it would stay that way through halftime.
The defenses controlled much of the third quarter before the Raiders again struck with a big play, as McAda found McDill for a 81-yard touchdown pass to extend the advantage to 24-13.
This time it was the Wildcats who needed only one play to counter, as Adeyemi reeled off a 55-yard scoring run to close the gap to 24-19.
After making a defensive stop, Kennedale used a touchdown pass from Jeremiah Myers to Jaylen Webb to take their first lead of the night at 25-24, with the two-point conversion coming up short.
Trailing for the first time, Sunnyvale responded when Pecina booted a 48-yard field goal to make it 27-25 midway through the fourth.
The Raiders got the ball back, but a fumble gave the Wildcats one final chance.
Kennedale drove down the field to put itself in position and Aidan Birr delivered when he kicked a 24-yard field goal as time expired to lift them to the 28-27 victory.
While it has been a rough start to the season for Sunnyvale, those experiences might work in their favor this week against a Carrollton Ranchview team that will be playing its first game.
The Wolves are coming off one of the best seasons in school history, as they went 9-2 a year ago.
Ranchview returns 10 starters, but there are a number of new faces at the skill positions, as they graduated their starting quarterback, their top five rushers and top five receivers.
The Wolves lost several key members of the defense, as well, but they do return all-district performers in linebacker Shun Mizuno and defensive end Michael Martini.