The Kennedy Eagles (4-4) travel to Richmond Friday night for the second annual Greenwood Trophy game. Last year’s inaugural showdown saw the Eagles pound the Oilers to the fine tune of 73-18.
Oilers head coach Tashaka Merriweather said he doesn’t want the trophy to stay with Kennedy too long. “Last year they beat us pretty bad and they didn’t step off the gas pedal,” he said. “I don’t hold grudges but I never forget things like that.”
If anybody knows something about Kennedy football it’s Clyde Byrd. The Oilers offensive coordinator once coached the Eagles for a year-and-a-half, and said Richmond’s running game is the key to victory.
“Nobody this whole season has stopped our running game,” he said Monday afternoon between drawing X’s and O’s on the erase board. “And I don’t think Kennedy is going to stop it. If we stop their running game and make them pass, we win.”
The Oilers (1-7) enter Friday’s contest fresh off their first win in nearly two seasons. Beating Kennedy may not be so easy. The Eagles have reeled off three straight wins, and four of their last five to claim a share of the league lead.
“We’re just trying to keep it [the Greenwood Trophy]—period,” Eagles head coach Mark Carminer said after Wednesday’s practice.
Carminer told his squad not to overlook Richmond and start daydreaming about the playoffs. “That’s how you get smacked in the mouth,” he told them huddled on the 50-yard-line. “Because that’s a willing and able and capable opponent. And you respect all your opponents. You ain’t got to like ‘em, but respect them.”
Kickoff for Friday night’s game is at 6:15 p.m.