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Eagles swoop in for victory over Oilers

on September 17, 2011

In a game that marked the debut of two new coaches and a new trophy — the Sylvester Greenwood Cup — Kennedy ran all over Richmond Friday night at Kennedy High to give Mack Carminer a blowout 73-18 win in his first contest against the cross-town rival Oilers.

Sophomore Jonathan Whitley and senior Kenny Walker led the way, and after a 30-yard pass from quarterback Octavious Holley to Whitley, Kennedy led 19-0 early. The Eagles repeatedly drove deep into Richmond territory, with the Oilers unable to counter Kennedy’s lightning-fast punt returns or come up with a solution to the speed of senior wide receiver and Cal commit Walker, who brought the score to 35-6 with a 60 yard run by the end of the first quarter.

“Overall, we played like Eagles are supposed to play,” Carminer said afterward, over the raucous cheering of his team. “We win as a team, we lose as a team. It hasn’t really hit me yet. The kids responded excellent tonight, they played the way they were supposed to.”

Richmond High players swarm to tackle a Kennedy player in Friday night's game.

Richmond wide receiver Tra’von Clay caught two touchdown passes, but it wasn’t enough to turn the tide of the game. By the time the referee blew the whistle signaling halftime, Kennedy led 66-18.

The Richmond locker room was quiet at the break, with the usual locker-room chatter non-existent as the players filed in to reflect on what went wrong during the first half. Many players were visibly frustrated with their performance.

“I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to give up on this game,” said Head Coach Tashaka Merriweather. “If we execute what we worked on in practice, we can control the tempo of the game, and make Kennedy come to us.”

The Oilers did improve in the second half, slowing down the Eagles’ running attack and forcing them to rely more on passing.  The Oilers were able to hold the Eagles to one touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Merriweather addressed his somber team at the end of the game with a message to keep working. “We started slow in the first half and paid the price for it,” he said. What we worked on in practice didn’t come together for this game, but it’s still early in the season and I know that we’ll keep improving.”

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