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Saint Mary’s pulls through, defeats Kennedy

on October 17, 2011

The Kennedy High Eagles played hard Saturday, but couldn’t put up the defense needed to keep the Saint Mary’s College High School Panthers down.

The Eagles stayed ahead of the Panthers for all but the last two minutes of the game, when a turnover led to the Panthers’ game-winning touchdown.

“We didn’t have the defense, and we didn’t execute,” said Eagles head coach Mack Carminer.

Further complicating the 35-31 game was the ejection of  Carminer for improper equipment. Several Eagles players weren’t wearing hip pads at the game’s beginning and in turn, as league regulations require, referees ejected Carminer after seeing a second Eagles player without his pads.

Even without Carminer on the field, the Eagles maintained an aggressive pace throughout the game.

Quarterback Octavious Holley ran for the Eagles’ first touchdown early in the first quarter. Wide receiver Jonathan Whitley scooped a fumble minutes after, which let Cal-bound Kenneth Walker III run for a second touchdown.

Saint Mary’s wide receiver Ethan Weinstein accepted the challenge and scored his own touchdown shortly after.

The Panthers’ defense proved stronger than the Eagles, blitzing Holley time and time again continuously through the game. At the start of the second quarter, the Eagles held a semi-comfortable 19-7 lead after wide receiver Deonte Pride scored, but the Panthers didn’t let them run too far ahead.

Panthers’ wide receiver Caleb Coleman scored, as did Walker three minutes later. Weinstein came up with another touchdown, but then the Eagles defense held to prevent a touchdown after the Panthers’ next drive made it down to the Kennedy 10 yard line.

Both teams let valuable opportunities slip by, whether it was Saint Mary’s Coleman coming up short on a pass, or the Eagles failing to recover an onside kick that handed over possession.

Near the end of the fourth quarter, the Eagles led 31-21. A brutal sack by defensive lineman Takkarist McKinley drew smiles from coaches and teammates, but it wouldn’t be long into the fourth quarter before their countenances turned grim.

A pass interception turned touchdown by Weinstein put the score at 31-29, and even though the Eagles pushed to the 50-yard line with the ball, a fumble flipped over possession and sealed the game with less than 30 seconds on the clock.

“We played a good game just now,” Walker said to his teammates after the game had ended. “We just made mistakes.”

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