CEDAR RAPIDS — It’s a brand new season. And the Kennedy Cougars have forged a whole new identity.
Slow starters? Not this year.
Terrence Hall capped a pair of clutch fourth-quarter drives with touchdowns, and Cedar Rapids Kennedy rallied past Class 4A 10th-ranked Cedar Rapids Prairie, 28-24, in a Mississippi Valley Conference non-divisional football game Friday night at John Wall Field.
“We’re on Cloud Nine. There’s no other way to describe it,” said Jacob Shannon, who intercepted a pass to end Prairie’s last gasp. “We keep on fighting, and it’s about executing your plays.”
Kennedy improved to 2-0 and won its sixth straight regular-season game.
It’s a far cry from last year, when the Cougars opened 0-5 before turning around the horse and the cart.
For the second straight week, the Cougars erased a 10-point deficit. They were down 24-14 entering the fourth quarter Friday, but their ground attack brought them back.
“They basically controlled the line of scrimmage offensively, and that was tough,” said Prairie Coach Mike Morrissey. “But my hat’s off to them. They played a great game and their kids were fired up.”
Hall’s first touchdown, a 10-yarder with 11:37 to go, brought Kennedy within 24-21.
The Cougars got the ball back, still down three, at their own 28 with 6:59 remaining.
It took 10 plays to march 72 yards for the go-ahead score, with the majority of it coming on the ground.
Hall capped it with an 8-yard touchdown with 2:39 to go.
“We just kept pushing. They couldn’t stop it, and we just kept running it,” Hall said. “I told my coach, every time the fullback gets the first block, it’s a guaranteed five yards.”
Prairie (1-1) had a last gasp, but it didn’t last long. After a pair of incompletions, Prairie quarterback Trey Beckman surrendered the only turnover of the game — a deep interception by Shannon.
Beckman hit Mitch Dellamuth with a pair of touchdown passes in the first half, including one on the Hawks’ first play from scrimmage, and the Hawks took a 17-14 lead into intermission.
After Prairie held the Cougars, three-and-out, the Hawks took over at their own 48. Beckman connected with Dellamuth around the 35, and the receiver took it the rest of the way for a score.
Kennedy got even at 7-all with a ground-oriented nine-play, 83-yard march.
Logan Wedo did much of the work, then quarterback Derek Jacobus capped it with a 3-yard run, diving over the left pylon.
Beckman and Dellamuth went back to work, connecting thee times on the following drive, including an 11-yard scoring dart that put the Hawks back on top, 14-7.
Jacobus connected with a wide-open Drew Heitland for a 39-yard scoring pass to make it 14-14 early in the second quarter, then the defenses settled in for a while.
Prairie drove to the Kennedy 3 just before halftime before settling for Sam Drysdale’s 20-yard field goal.
Beckman’s 3-yard run gave the Hawks their largest lead at 24-14 late in the third quarter, but the rest of the game belonged to the Cougars.
Kennedy finished with 284 rushing yards and 387 total. Hall ran for 97 yards, Miles Moa 87 (before suffering an injury on the final scoring drive) and Wedo 79.
Beckman passed for 229 yards (135 to Dellamuth) and Mitch Christensen ran for 120 for the Hawks.
Kennedy is at third-rated Iowa City West next week; Prairie is at No. 1 Cedar Rapids Xavier.
CR Kennedy 28, CR Prairie 24
AT JOHN WALL FIELD
|TEAM STATISTICS||CR Kennedy||CR Prairie|
|Rushes-yards||52 - 284||27 - 136|
|Comp-Att-Int||8 - 13 - 0||16 - 35 - 1|
|Fumbles-lost||1 - 0||0 - 0|
|Punts-average||4 - 38.3||3 - 42.3|
|Penalties-yards||4 - 43||8 - 60|
Rushing: CR Kennedy – Terrence Hall 13-97 , Miles Moa 15-87 , Logan Wedo 13-79 , Derek Jacobus 10-18 , Jay Blank 1-2 CR Prairie – Mason Jones 1-1 , Mitch Christensen 17-120 , Trey Beckman 9-15
Passing: CR Kennedy – Jacobus 8-13-0-103 CR Prairie – Beckman 16-35-1-229
Receiving: CR Kennedy – Drew Heitland 7-92 , Jacob Shannon 1-11 CR Prairie – Mitch Dellamuth 7-135 , Kentrel Smith 3-31 , Jesse Vizzini 3-20 , Drayton Zimmerman 2-36 , JoJo Simpson 1-7
SCORE BY QUARTERS
CRP - Mitch Dellamuth 52 pass from Trey Beckman (Sam Drysdale kick)
CRK - Derek Jacobus 3 run (Mark Schulz kick)
CRP - Dellamuth 11 pass from Beckman (Drysdale kick)
CRK - Drew Heitland 39 pass from Jacobus (Schulz kick)
CRP - FG Drysdale 20
CRP - Beckman 3 run (Drysdale kick)
CRK - Terrence Hall 10 run (Schulz kick)
CRK - Hall 8 run (Schulz kick)