The Kennedy football team completed its daunting non-conference schedule this week after scoring a 27-14 victory in the Trojans home opener over Horizon Christian.
Kennedy (1-2) scheduled three games against 3A competition, including defending state champion Dayton as a way to prepare the team for play in the Tri-River Conference.
Although the Trojans routinely lose more games than they win in pre-season, coach Randy Traeger knows that the losses ultimately make the team better when the games count for more in conference play.
These guys have been through it so many times, Traeger said. They know the gig, and they really have a lot of confidence in the fact that steel hurts steel, and the only way to get ready for a really tough opening week is to play some really tough opponents.
The Trojans will certainly have their hands full this Friday when the team hosts No. 1 Regis to open play in the Tri-River Conference.
Although Kennedy is the reigning league champion, the Rams (2-1) comes into this weeks game as the favorite thanks to the dominant play of running back Jeremiah Greiser.
Regis star senior rushed for 300 yards and five touchdowns in the Rams 40-34 win over 4A North Marion to open the season.?Traeger knows that controlling the offensive line and Greiser is the key to stopping the Rams.
They have a pretty good offensive line, the quarterbacks experienced and they have a lot of skill guys, said Traeger.
You add that running back to the mix and its pretty lethal. But were more focused on ourselves, Traeger continued. Because we feel that if we take care of the inadequacies that we have, well be in a position to win the game.
The Trojans are no slouches either.
Kennedy played well against Dayton in the second week despite leaning more heavily on the pass than their traditional running game. While Traeger has traditionally attacked opponents on the ground, hes not against going to the air if thats the way opposing teams want him to play.
Were throwing the ball more than we ever have, said Traeger. They may think that its by design and were geniuses, but its actually necessity is the mother of invention.
Fortunately for the Trojans, the team has multiple weapons on offense that Traeger can go to at will. Quick and agile playmakers like receivers Wyatt Rodriguez or Mark Unrein can make plays, while larger targets like Sam Moreno and Ty Sawyer gives Kennedy an ability to attack teams with a multi-faceted offense.
Were kind of a football team by committee, said Traeger. We dont have any, what I would say, superstars. Its more of a team-type approach and playing sound offense and sound defense.
The Trojans will host Regis Friday at 7 p.m. in the league-opener for both teams.