CEDAR RAPIDS — It was methodical. But methodical is what Cedar Rapids Kennedy does well.
“That’s how we play,” Coach Brian White said, after his team beat Cedar Rapids Washington, 21-11, Friday night at Kingston Stadium. “We run the ball and play good defense. It might not be exciting to a lot of people, but I think if we have more points at the end of the game, everyone will go home happy.”
Cairron Hendred ran for two touchdowns and Max White one as the Cougars improved to 4-2 overall and most importantly 2-0 in Class 4A, District 5. Cade Parker actually led Kennedy with 124 yards rushing, as it pounded away at Washington’s defense, ringing up a sizeable time-of-possession edge.
“Long drives,” said Parker, who also excels at linebacker. “It’s three or four yards a carry. That’s how we roll.”
Kennedy’s running backs all have different strengths, with Hendred the sprinter, White the quick-feet guy and Parker bringing the power. They split the carries virtually evenly here, with White adding 90 yards rushing on 18 carries and Hendred 69 on 18 attempts.
“Nothing fancy,” said Washington Coach Mo Blue. “They did simple really well tonight. We didn’t help ourselves a lot, but it is what it is. They’re a solid, well-coaching football team, and their kids play hard.”
Washington (2-4, 0-2) is hamstrung offensively with starting quarterback Brayden Wright out with a knee injury. Blue said he expects him to be available next week.
The Warriors have had to turn to sophomore Henry Clymer, who did complete 11 of 18 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown to receiver Lincoln Riley. But Kennedy’s ball-control offense and aggressive defense helped hold Wash out of the end zone until very late.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
Bennett Cooper opened the scoring for Washington with a 30-yard field goal, after a 47-yard return of the opening kickoff by Trenton Strom took the ball deep into Kennedy territory. The Cougars came right back with a 14-play, 73-yard drive capped by a White 3-yard TD run off a quarterback sneak.
Now it’s Kennedy’s biggest game of the season next week at fifth-ranked Bettendorf. A win goes a long way to winning the district championship for the Cougars, a loss could keep them out of the playoffs.
“The next game is always the biggest game,” Parker said. “Especially this one.”
“The fun thing is our coaching staff has been down to Bettendorf before,” Coach White said. “We know what it’s like. We are 1-1 against them, won the last time we played them in Cedar Falls (in the 2015 playoff semifinals). Our coaching staff just has get the kids to buy in that we can go down there and win.”
l Comments: (319) 398-8259; firstname.lastname@example.org