CEDAR RAPIDS — You all can relax now, Cedar Rapids Kennedy football fans. Your boys have won a game.
Actually, your boys and coaching staff can take a deep breath, too, after a 44-0 shellacking Friday night of Cedar Rapids Jefferson at Kingston Stadium.
No one, whether you’re a rooter of the green and gold or not, envisioned the Cougars going winless until Week 6. But a tough schedule and not playing well enough combined for this unexpected oh-fer.
“I’m proud of the kids for hanging in there,” said Kennedy Coach Tim Lewis. “A lot of times when you have expectations like we had to start the season, then you go 0-5, kids jump ship. I’m sure they’re hearing negative things in the hallways (at school), hearing negative maybe even at home. But they’ve just kept buying in to what we’re selling.”
Jefferson (1-5) was unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a season’s worth of Cougar frustration. And, make no mistake, this was a severe beatdown.
Kennedy held a 24-0 lead at halftime, outgaining the J-Hawks, 233-1, in the first half. Jeff didn’t get its initial first down until there was a little more than five minutes left in the third on a 12-yard pass from quarterback Layne Sullivan to Peter Watson.
Naturally, Watson got injured on the play. Just that kind of night for Jefferson.
“You hear some,” Lewis said, when asked if his coaching staff has been on the receiving end of parent/fan negativity. “You try not to let it bother you. There were people chirping at me as I was walking back to the bus after the Xavier game last week. You know that’s going to come. That’s all part of the business, unfortunately.”
Alex Hillyer had 163 yards rushing and three touchdowns for Kennedy, including 115 and two, respectively, in the first half. Wide receiver Patrick Martin, who didn’t go out until three weeks ago, had a 45-yard TD reception from quarterback Riley Fergus.
Fergus threw a pair of touchdowns, including a 10-yarder early in the fourth to Miles Moa that got a continuous clock rolling.
“We really wanted this game, so we could get some confidence going,” Hillyer said. “Hopefully we can win out from here and make the playoffs.”
Kennedy has been known in recent seasons by how strong it has closed. These Cougars can take comfort in knowing that tradition.
It appears to be a manageable schedule for Kennedy down the stretch, especially if the Cougars play as they did Friday night. Kennedy’s defense came in averaging 30 points allowed per game but showed no mercy here with an aggressive, blitzing defense Jefferson’s front line couldn’t contain.
The J-Hawks finished with minus-24 yards on the ground and 47 yards overall. That’s on the positive side.
The night was appropriately capped on Triston Christopher’s 51-yard pick-six with 7:19 to go.
Sullivan went 8 for 19 passing for Jefferson for 71 yards and was intercepted twice. Counterpart Fergus was 6 of 13 for 96 yards, being picked off once.
“We’ve kind of been a second-half team the last couple of years,” Lewis said. “So we’ll see if this team has the same pedigree … We’ll see if this team has turned the corner.”
Here is the game boxscore:
CR Kennedy 44, CR Jeff. 0
AT KINGSTON STADIUM
|TEAM STATISTICS||CR Jeff.||CR Kennedy|
|Rushes-yards||27 - -24||41 - 238|
|Comp-Att-Int||8 - 19 - 2||6 - 14 - 1|
|Fumbles-lost||1 - 0||0 - 0|
|Punts-average||7 - 41.1||2 - 37.0|
|Penalties-yards||5 - 34||8 - 60|
Rushing: CR Jeff. – Michael Moncivais 5-32 , Ben Koering 1-0 , Hunter Kloubec 1-0 , Tim Larson 1--1 , Team 1--13 , Nick O'Connell 7--17 , Layne Sullivan 11--25 CR Kennedy – Alex Hillyer 23-163 , Miles Moa 10-48 , Terrence Hall 5-44 , Team 1--5 , Riley Fergus 2--9
Passing: CR Jeff. – Layne Sullivan 8-19-2-71 CR Kennedy – Riley Fergus 6-13-1-96 , Alex Hillyer 0-1-0-0
Receiving: CR Jeff. – Hunter Kloubec 2-33 , Michael Moncivais 3-16 , Peter Watson 1-12 , Colton Cortez 1-7 , Will Orr 1-3 CR Kennedy – Patrick Martin 3-63 , Jacob Frazier-Flores 1-16 , Miles Moa 1-10 , Alex Hillyer 1-7
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Kenn-Eric Bertroche 37 FG
Kenn-Alex Hillyer 38 run (Bertroche kick)
Kenn-Patrick Martin 45 pass from Riley Fergus (Bertroche kick)
Kenn-Hillyer 3 run (Bertroche kick)
Kenn-Hillyer 10 run (kick failed)
Kenn-Miles Moa 10 pass from Fergus (Bertroche kick)
Kenn-Triston Christopher 51 interception return (Bertroche kick)