Kentwood 41, Kennedy Catholic 40
(Burien, WA) On a rainy night where Fall weather certainly felt like it arrived and new Kennedy Catholic Coach Sheldon Cross was not on the mood to play any extra time. His Lancer squad had fallen behind 20-0 in the 1st quarter but went on a 21-0 run to take the lead and then the 2 teams would battle down the stretch with Kentwood taking a 41-34 lead with less than 2-minutes to play. The Lancers would then drive down the field in a 70-yard drive and scored a touchdown with just 4 seconds to play on a pass from Ben Gaoteote to Primo Ramirez and Kennedy was a PAT away from tying the game and likely sending it to OT.
However, Coach Cross was not in the mood for extra time and went for the win going for 2 points. Gaoteote dropped back to pass as both sets of wide receivers on both side crossed and Gaoteote tried to hit Nick Blakley along the back line but was tightly covered by Darius Lubom and the pass was incomplete giving the win to the Conks. The home Lancer crowd went from jubilation to a stunned silence in about 60-seconds.
Let’s go back to the start and tell you how we got to this crazy finish. Like we already said it looked like the game was going to be a blow out from the very 1st play from scrimmage. Kentwood QB Justin Seiber play actioned and dropped back and hit Lubom in stride for a 58-yard TD, Leo Tizoc added the PAT and it was 7-0 just 15-seconds into the game.
Kentwood would score on their next 2 possessions a Seiber to Justin Moore TD pass and an 8-yard burst up the middle by Chevas Kalua-Fuimaono, one of the PAT’s failed but the Conks were in control 20-0 as the 1st quarter expired.
Kennedy would get on the board in the 2nd after Kentwood got pushed back to their own 2 to begin a drive and had to punt out of their own endzone. The Lancers took over on their own 49 and on the 5th play fullback Kendall Oakes burst right up the middle through a big hole and sprinted 28-yards for the score. Jared Thurber hit the extra point to make it 20-7.
As halftime approached Kentwood decided to try an ill-advised fake punt that Kennedy was ready for to the point of not even dropping back a deep receiver. The Lancers would get it on the KW 49 and Gaoteote would throw his 1st TD of the night to Thurber from the 15 with 31-seconds to play and at the half pulled within 6 trailing 20-14. the Lancers would also receive the 2nd half kick-off.
After trading possessions the Lancers got into a rhythm, Oakes had a big 17-yard run, Gaoteote hit an 18-yard completion down to the 2 and would then hit Ramirez for the score and the Lancers would have their first lead in the game 21-20.
Kentwood would fire right back with new QB Colby Burton. The Conks took to the ground and Burton finished it off with a nice 22-yard keeper and re-took the lead 27-21.
Tizoc booted the kick-off into the endzone and were driven back to the 9-yard line on a holding call when Gaoteote hit Thurber in stride near midfield and cruised into the endzone for a 91-yard TD strike and tied the game at 27. The score stayed tied when Thurber hooked the PAT, possibly just sprinting 91-yards may have had an impact on the kick.
Kennedy would take their 2nd lead of the game after recovering a KW fumble on their own 20. One play later Gaoteote again found Thurber this time an 80-yard connection. Gaoteote and Thurber hooked up for 171 yards and 2 TD’s in back-to-back offensive plays.
Kentwood would then get their running game rolling behind Dyson Johnson who racked up 132 yards and a TD all in the 2nd half. Johnson would cap off the the Conks scoring with a 36-yard run to take a 41-34 lead setting up the crazy finish which saw Kentwood hold on for the win.
The Conks won their 1st game of the season but this was the league opener. The Lancers dropped to 2-1 and 0-1 in league play. Our Tommy Lowe of the Greene Realty Group Players of the Game went to Kentwood’s Dyson Johnson and Kennedy Catholic’s Jared Thurber. Our ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game went to the KW defense led by Darius Lubom stopping the 2-point conversion to win the game.
Big performances for Kentwood included Johnson who finished with 148 yards rushing and a touchdown. Justin Seiber went 15-20 for 234 yards abd 2 TD’s and Jacob Cronn caught 6 passes for 89 yards. The Conks finished with 537 total yards.
Kennedy Catholic racked up 516 yards of offense led by receiver Jared Thurber who finished with 7 catches for 236 yards and 3 TD’s. QB Ben Gaoteote went 22-33 for 375 yards and 5 touchdowns while Kendall Oakes ran 26 times for 126 yards and a score.