CEDAR RAPIDS — Odd. Very, very odd.
Nothing about the game between Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Davenport Central seemed normal, starting with its later start because the sophomore squads threw up 101 total points. Add in the fact the varsity squads combined for 5 points through the first 12 minutes, committed penalties on the opening kick and the ensuing re-kick and a safety on the first offensive snap.
The one speck of normal came from Cedar Rapids Kennedy’s ability to run the ball. Cairron Hendred rushed for 194 yards and three scores, including a 63-yard burst in a more conventional second half, and helped the Cougars pull away for a 32-10 Class 4A District 5 victory over Davenport Central Thursday night at Kingston Stadium. The Cougars (5-3, 3-1) kept their postseason hopes alive going into the regular-season finale at Burlington.
The Cougars nursed a 5-3 lead after the opening safety and a 25-yard field goal by Conlin Byers that sandwiched a 42-yard field goal by Central’s Luke Hummel. They extended the lead to 18-3 at the half, parlaying two Blue Devil miscues into the first two touchdowns.
Kennedy picked off an Adin DeLaRosa pass. Three plays later, Hendred burst through the line untouched, reaching the second level of the defense and bolting 61 yards for a touchdown.
Central drove into Kennedy territory, but fumbled it back to the Cougars. Sham Graham scooped the ball at midfield and returned it to the Central 36.
Kennedy drove to the Blue Devil 6 before the teams alternated fumbles inside the final two minutes of the first half, putting the Cougars back on the goal line’s doorstep. Max White capitalized on the error, scoring on a 1-yard QB sneak.
The Cougars controlled the second half, taking a 25-3 lead on the first possession after the break. Kennedy only needed six plays — all runs — to cover 71 yards. Hendred capped the drive with an 8-yard TD run.
Hendred broke his longest run of the game with 10:26 left in the fourth, giving him 895 this season.
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Central (4-4, 3-1) continued to fight. The Blue Devils scored their lone touchdown with 1:41 remaining. DeLaRosa hit Israel Taylor on an 8-yard scoring strike.
Central showed flashes of being able to move the ball, reaching or starting in Kennedy territory six times. The Blue Devils managed just the two scores despite tallying 16 first downs.
DeLaRosa finished with 184 yards passing, including 107 to Taylor. Diontrel Wommack led Central with 86 yards on the ground.
The Blue Devils close against district leader Bettendorf next Friday at Brady Street Stadium.
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