Prep Football

'X' factor Brandtley Koske shines as Cedar Rapids Kennedy takes down Washington

Cougars roll to 42-14 win over crosstown rivals

CEDAR RAPIDS — You know about their studs.

The running back with the fleet feet, the quarterback with the sweet feet. The linebacker with all the tackles and the linemen with the college scholarships, including one to the University of Iowa.

That makes Cedar Rapids Kennedy a handful. More than a handful.

But the ‘X’ factor for Class 4A’s seventh-ranked team? It’s gotta be Brandtley Koske.

The senior hybrid back and cornerback is rather unheralded, but he’s a baller. He had a touchdown run, a touchdown catch and picked off two passes Friday night as Kennedy beat Cedar Rapids Washington, 42-14, at Kingston Stadiun.

“Did what the coaches taught me, I guess,” Koske said. “I listened to them, and that showed up on the field with what I did.”

“He’s a heck of a corner,” Kennedy Coach Brian White said. “On offense, we can pick our spots with him. When he’s in the game, we don’t always get him the ball. But when we get him the ball, stuff always happens. Then on special teams, too, with returning kicks, he’s just a guy who is good in all three facets. It’s fun to have him around ... For him, it’s not about me. He is a true team player.”

Koske caught a 12-yard TD pass from quarterback Max White (sweet feet) late in the first quarter to give Kennedy (5-1, 2-0 District 5) a 14-7 lead it would never relinquish. Early in the second quarter, he took a handoff, burst up the middle and then down the sideline for 57 yards and another score.

Cairron Hendred (fleet feet) had 163 yards rushing on just 17 carries for the Cougars, scoring twice in the second half. White also had two rushing touchdowns.

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“It really helps me (that opposing teams) focus on Cairron and Max,” Koske said. “They’re our big two. Then there’s me as a third. That really helps me out a lot.”

Kennedy rushed for 360 yards, thanks in no smart part to a line that consists of Iowa commit Connor Colby and North Dakota State commit Nolan Jacobs. The aforementioned linebacker with all the tackles, by the way, is Cade Parker.

The Cougars have a huge district game at home next week against No. 6 Bettendorf.

“We’ve just got to go out and execute. Do what we do,” Koske said. “I think we can win it.”

The touchdowns for Washington (0-6, 0-2) were touchdown passes from Henry Clymer: one to Max Bjornsen and one to Trent Strom in the final minute. Clymer completed 21 of 29 passes for 155 yards.

The Warriors caught Kennedy off guard early with a unique formation in which there were three linemen in the middle, one out wide left and one out wide right, with receivers next to them. That led to the Clymer-to-Bjornsen 8-yard TD.

Washington has what appears to be winnable games down the stretch, including one Thursday night at home against Davenport Central.

“That’s what we just got done saying,” said Coach Mo Blue. “We’ve got a three-game season, and we’re looking to go 3-0. It starts with Davenport Central next Thursday ... The fans are sick of seeing this, the kids are sick of it, I’m sick of it. We’re all sick of it. We’ve just got to stop making so many mistakes.”

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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