Prep Football: Kennedy Rallies Past Waterloo East

By Jim Nelson, Waterloo Courier

WATERLOO, Iowa – Cedar Rapids Kennedy scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to rally for a 38-30 win over Waterloo East Friday at Memorial Stadium.

The Cougars (2-5) trailed 27-14 with 7 minutes and 6 seconds left in the third quarter, but proceeded to outscore the Trojans (4-3) 24-3 over the final 19 minutes to win their second consecutive game.

"I told our guys we kind of got what we deserved," East coach Kody Asmus said. "We had people doing whatever they wanted, people showing up late. Unfortunately we weren't able to pull it out in the end.

"We say players win games, coaches lose games, so it starts with us and we have to do better jobs as coaches."

East appeared to have the game in hand after Aaron Taylor rumbled 8-yards for a touchdown with 7:06 left to put the Trojans up 27-14.

But Kennedy responded quickly, going 65 yards in eight plays and getting a Riley Fergus 1-yard run to pull within 27-21 with 3:49 to go.

The Trojans pushed their lead back to two scores on Juan Martinez's third field goal of the game, a 34-yarder with 1:39 left in the third quarter, but it was all Kennedy down the stretch as the Cougars benefitted from a short field the entire fourth quarter.

A 30-yard punt return by Miles Moa set up a 26-yard Eric Bertroche field goal that made it 30-24 with 9:18 to go.

A short Trojan punt set up the Cougars at the East 35 with 7:47 to go and a 17-yard pass from Fergus to Alex Boomshine set up a Alex Hillyer 4-yard touchdown run that put Kennedy up 31-30 with 5:04 left.

Disaster struck immediately after the Hillyer score as East's Kelvin Clark had the ball knocked out of his hands on the ensuing kickoff and it was recovered by Kennedy. And the Cougars capitalized as Hillyer had a pair of 12-yard runs before dashing into the endzone from the 5 with 3:23 left making it 38-30.

Hillyer finished with 142 yards on 32 carries.

"We kind of got ourselves in a hole," Asmus said of short field position Kennedy enjoyed the final 12 minutes. "Anytime you give your opponent a short field or yourself a first and 20 with a holding penalty or negative run it just makes life tough.

"We have some things we got to fix and the good thing is we have two games left. Give credit to Kennedy, the deserved it. We knew they were going to be a tough team."

East played a strong first half as Desmond VanArsdale passed for 210 first-half yards, including five darts to freshman Javon Middleton for 113 yards as the Trojans led 20-14 at the half.

VanArsdale finished with 267 rushing yards, but the Trojans had a tough time running the ball gaining just 67 yards on 29 carries. Middleton finished with six catches for 123 yards.

"They just wanted it more than us," Asmus said. "They made more plays at the end and we did a lot of things to help that."
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