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Piedmont defeats Kennedy, keeping Eagles from playoffs

on November 12, 2011

The Piedmont Highlanders defeated the Kennedy Eagles 37-31  in a tough, physical, closely fought game Thursday. The Eagles’ playoff hopes ended on a cold night on the manicured fields of Piedmont High School.

The game started well for Kennedy with two quick running touchdowns.  The 14-0 lead lasted until the Highlanders struck back in the waning minutes of the first quarter.  But the Highlander passing game, led by quarterback Eric Huppert, was nearly flawless, and Piedmont piled on the points. Two quick scores near the end of the first half ran the Highlander lead to 27-14.

The field smelled of hamburgers and smoke lingered above the game. Piedmont’s purple was the color of the night : the stands, the scoreboard and the paper draping that adorned the ground were all purple and there were girls in purple blankets, parents in purple jackets and boys wearing purple bandanas.

The Eagles fought hard against the purple tide. All-purpose runner, punter, and receiver Kenneth Walker punished the Highlander defense all night, and senior quarterback Octavious Holley led two scoring drives to cut the lead to 34-31 late in the game.

With 26 seconds left and Piedmont leading 37-31, Kennedy had one last chance.

“Everything can change in 26 seconds. Everything,” one of the coaches kept shouting for the Eagles.

“Don’t let the heads fall,” the coach shouted again.

But the inspired comeback wasn’t enough. Kennedy fumbled, ending the game and the season, far closer to their goal than they had been in decades and yet, in the 85 yards separating them from a victory, still so far away.

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