Kennett defeats Great Valley, 31-21
● By Steven Hoffman
“Let’s go, Kennett!”
“Let’s go, Kennett!”
As a few Kennett football players waved their arms at the crowd and others paced the sidelines eagerly awaiting the start of the second half, the large, boisterous crowd took three words and transformed them into a powerful rallying cry. In unison, they chanted:
“Let’s go, Kennett!”
And, in unison, the team responded with perhaps its best performance this season.
After working hard to build a 17-7 lead at halftime, Kennett went back to work and finished the job, earning a 31-21 win over Great Valley.
The fact that Kennett outscored Great Valley on this night means something. The fact that Kennett has now won its last two games means something. But what might be much more meaningful is the fact that this Kennett team is playing with a lot of pride, passion, and purpose under first-year head coach Lance Frazier.
You see it in the way the defense stops a six-foot-five quarterback, Jake Prevost, from picking up two yards on a crucial fourth-and-short play.
You see it in the way that a smallish offensive line wins the battle in the trenches, again and again.
You see it in the way Kennett’s young quarterback, Sam Forte, rolls around in the backfield, looking for an open receiver and confidently delivering one beautiful touch pass after another.
You see it in the way that Garrett Cox, Kennett’s running back, tenaciously dodges or powers past would-be tacklers.
The Kennett football program is building something—it might still be undefinable at this point, but it’s also undeniable.
“We started off the season a little slow,” Cox explained. “We had a new offense to learn, and a new defense, but now everything is starting to click.”
Against Great Valley, Kennett was clicking from the very start of the game. Forte led Kennett on a game-opening drive that covered 60 yards on just seven plays. Forte connected with wide receiver Mitch Kosara on a nice pass play that gained 15 yards. A few plays later, the quarterback did a good job of looking over the defenders to find Richie Hughson open in the middle of the field for a 23-yard pick up that put the ball on the two-yard line. Forte plunged into the end zone on the next play, making it 7-0.
After the defense sacked Great Valley quarterback Jake Prevost twice to force a punt, Kennett’s offense went right back to work. On first down, Cox took the handoff and blasted through the defensive line and raced into the open field. Great Valley’s defenders did their best to run down Cox, but the Kennett running back ran 73 yards to reach the end zone. It was 14-0.
Kennett added to its lead with a 25-yard field goal in the second quarter, making it 17-0. The key play on the drive was a nice touch pass from Forte to Kosara after the wide receiver managed to get wide open for a 22-yard gain.
Great Valley struck back right away, driving 68 yards on seven plays. Running back Josh Burgess moved the chains with an 11-yard reception, and then a few plays later he raced 44 yards for a touchdown. It was 17-7.
Great Valley opened the third quarter with a 70-yard touchdown drive, narrowing the score to 17-14. Burgess contributed a nice 18-yard run, and Prevost fired a terrific pass to Brendan O’ Donnell for 19 yards. Three plays later, Prevost lofted a five-yard pass to O’Donnell in the end zone for the score.
Kennett took over with 6:46 left in the third quarter and proceeded to take six minutes off the clock with a 13-play drive. While the drive didn’t result in any points, Kennett’s offensive line was managing to give the offense the time and space it needed to move the ball. As the game wore on, keeping Great Valley’s defense on the field would pay dividends for Kennett. On Kennett’s next possession, Cox rolled up 54 more yards on a the ground. Most of that yardage came on a 46-yard touchdown run that increased Kennett’s lead to 24-14 with 7:49 left to play.
After the defense forced Great Valley to turn the ball over on downs, Kennett’s offense went right back on the attack—and that meant more carries for Cox. The running back rumbled for 61 more yards, blowing past the 200-yard mark for the game as Kennett marched 65 yards for a touchdown. Cox scored his third touchdown of the game when, from the 22-yard line, he took the handoff, disappeared into a pile of players, and somehow kept his feet moving forward, allowing him to break free from the pack and once again rumble into the end zone. It was 31-14 with 3:34 to go.
Great Valley scored a late touchdown when Prevost threw a 46-yard touchdown to O;Donnell, but that was as close as the Patriots were going to get on this night as Kennett closed out a 31-21 victory.
The elated Kennett team huddled together in front of the marching band, joining the crowd in a festive celebration of the Homecoming victory.
Everyone was buzzing about Cox’s 254-yard performance. But the standout running back credited the offensive line for the team’s success running the ball.
“I couldn’t have done ti without the offensive line,” Cox said. “They were really opening up the holes and all I had to do was hit the hole.”
After six games of football, it’s clear that the team is buying into what Frazier and his staff are trying to implement at Kennett.
Frazier said that the strong showing on offense and defense is a result of all the hard work the players have put in.
“We’re growing together as a team,” said Frazier, who played nine years of professional football, including stops with the Baltimore Ravens, Dallas Cowboys, and Seattle Seahawks in the NFL. “We’re a team, and we’re a family.”
He was pleased that Kennett, now 2-4 on the season could deliver a win on Homecoming.
“I was a little worried about the Homecoming atmosphere,” Frazier explained. “The student-section is rocking. You have all these festivities. It’s exciting, but you have to focus and take of business. We were able to do that.”
Kennett will now take on Unionville on Friday night at 7 p.m. in Unionville.