- Phil Hawkins
- Woodburn Independent - Sports
Kennedy wins rematch against Central Linn in another defensive showcase
The Kennedy-Central Linn football rivalry added another tensely fought game to its short history Friday night as the Trojans gutted out a 14-7 victory on the road against the Cobras.
Wyatt Rodriguez scored on a 76-yard punt return in the first quarter to put Kennedy ahead 7-0, and Ty Sawyer scored on a 17-yard run midway through the second quarter to give the Trojans a 14-0 lead at the half.
Sawyer pounded the Cobras on the ground to the tune of 22 carries for 138 yards, but the team was unable to build on a successful first half and had to rely on its defensive prowess to hold on for the victory.
Both the Trojans and Cobras came equipped with similar run-heavy offenses Friday night, combing for just 13 passes between the two teams.
The two teams played a game of ball control over the course of the evening, and the Trojans looked like they would hold on for the teams second consecutive shutout before Central Linn finally converted on an 11-yard run with four minutes left in the game to pull within 14-7.
That was as close as the Cobras would get, though, and Kennedy pulled out its first back-to-back wins of the season.
In a game where defense came first, Blake Traeger and Sam Moreno led the way for the Trojans. Traeger led the team with four tackles and eight assists, while Moreno pitched in with five assists and 1.5 sacks.
Jack Suing added a sack, two tackles and eight assists, and Cole Galtes had six tackles and three assists.
Dating back to last season, the two teams have played three straight low-scoring games decided by one touchdown.
The two teams met in the final game of the regular season in 2012 with the Tri-River Conference championship on the line.
Kennedy took a 14-6 lead in the first half of that game, in which both teams held each other scoreless in the second half.
Central Linn got its revenge two weeks later when the Cobras knocked the Trojans out of the playoffs in a 6-0 contest played in wet and windy conditions.
With Friday nights win, Kennedy once again takes the bragging rights in the three-year rivalry that began when Central Linn joined the Tri-River Conference in 2010.
Kennedys victory puts the team in the top 10 of 2A teams according to the OSAAs recent updated rankings.
The Trojans (3-3, 2-1 Tri-River) are off this week, but travel to Culver Oct. 18 to take on the Bulldogs (1-3, 0-1).
The Cougars were less than 10 yards away from their first victory of the season, but a goalline stand at the end of last weeks game by Colton handed Gervais an 18-14 loss Friday night.
Nikita Kalugin put Gervais on top for the first time this season when he punched in a short run for a score in the first quarter against the Vikings. The Cougars converted for two to take an 8-0 lead.
Colton struck back in the second half to take an 18-14 lead, but the Cougars had a chance to win it on fourth and goal with 18 seconds left in the game. The Vikings held strong, though, dropping Gervais to its fourth-consecutive loss to start the season.
Gervais (0-4, 0-3 West Valley) travels to Monroe Friday in a non-conference game against the Dragons (3-1, 1-0 Mountain View).
The Buckaroos took a 22-16 lead in the first quarter against No. 4 Dufur, but the Rangers scored 42 unanswered points in the second and third quarters to hand St. Paul its fourth loss of the season before the team enters conference play.
St. Paul (2-4) has played and lost to three of the top four teams in 1A football to prepare for play in Special District 1.
The No. 10 Bucks open their league schedule Thursday at home against the Alsea Wolverines (0-5, 0-1 Special?District 1).