Kennedy defense stays strong in win over Culver
- Phil Hawkins
- Woodburn Independent - Sports
Football team has yielded seven points in last three games
For the second time in three weeks, the Trojan football team has bested a conference opponent in a dominating 49-0 victory.
Much like in the teams victory over Toledo two weeks ago, Kennedy used a combination of stout defense and a balanced run offense to hand the Culver Bulldogs their most thorough defeat of the season.
The victory celebration started in the first quarter, where the Trojans built a 21-0 lead that began on a seven-yard pass from quarterback Noah Giberson to tight end Sam Moreno.
While the Trojans did the majority of their damage on the ground, Giberson mopped things up in the air, as four of his seven completions found their way to the end zone.
Moreno and receiver Blake Traeger were Gibersons favorite targets, as the two seniors each hauled in a pair of touchdown passes for a combined 135 of Gibersons 184 passing yards.
After Gibersons opening touchdown pass to Moreno, the Trojans went to work on the ground. Kevin Delgado punched in a score from three yards out, and Wyatt Rodriguez added a 43-yard score less than two minutes later to give the team a 21-point lead.
Although Rodriguez touched the ball just five times on offense Friday, he accounted for 101 yards of offense. His lone catch of the night was on a 49-yard pass from Giberson.
In the second quarter, Giberson and Traeger connected for their touchdown scores on the evening to give the team a 35-0 edge at the half. While the Trojan quarterback was finishing off drives, much of the grunt work was done by senior running back Ty Sawyer, who carried the ball 19 times for a game-high 139 yards.
As the second half got under way, Kennedy continued to apply pressure on the defensive side of the ball.
The Bulldogs had a difficult time finding any traction on the ground, as the team was held to just 81 yards on 31 carries.
Defensively, Jack Suing led the Trojans with nine tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, helping the team force three Culver turnovers. Mark Unrein got his hands on another fumble, and Moreno picked off another pass as Kennedy held Culver to just three yards of offense through the air.
Giberson and Moreno connected for a 70-yard score toward the end of the third quarter and Sawyer capped the game with a touchdown from one yard out with five minutes left to finish the game.
The victory was Kennedys third straight since opening the conference schedule with an eight-point loss to the No. 2 Regis Rams.
The Trojans have held their last three opponents to just seven points combined and are giving up a league-best 16.8 points per game.
The recent slate of victories combined with a tough non-conference schedule have Kennedy ranked No. 6 in the most recent OSAA polls.
After spending the past three games on the road, the Trojans (4-3, 3-1 Tri-River) return to Mount Angel for their first home game in a month in Fridays contest against the visiting Waldport Irish (2-5, 1-3).
A victory over the Irish would guarantee Kennedy one of the three state playoff berths alloted to the Tri-River Conference.