In annual cross-town rivalry, Kennedy Eagles best Richmond High Oilers
on October 14, 2014
For another year, the Sylvester Greenwood Cup will reside on the south side of Richmond.
Senior defensive back Rolandre Lincoln helped the Kennedy High School football team break open a heated contest against cross-town rival Richmond High School Friday night when he intercepted a pass late in the fourth quarter, then sprinted 70 yards for a touchdown to help lead the Eagles to an eventual 35-6 victory.
Until that point, the favored Eagles struggled to put away their neighbors three miles to the north, who stayed within striking distance at 21-6 despite two first-half punting errors, one which led to a Kennedy touchdown.
“We’re kings of Richmond right now,” Kennedy head coach Rae Jackson said after the game. “It’s always good to keep the Sylvester Greenwood trophy.”
The cup, which goes to the winner of the annual Kennedy-Richmond game, was first unveiled in 2011 to honor Greenwood, a longtime teacher and administrator at Kennedy who died that year. After a 73-18 Kennedy blowout in the first trophy matchup, contests between the two teams have narrowed, with Kennedy winning by 10 in 2012 and seven last season.
The Eagles used timely, explosive plays and leveraged their size and speed advantage to wear out the Oilers heading into the fourth quarter. With a 14-6 lead at half-time, Kennedy struck again in the third quarter with a pinpoint 29-yard fade from senior quarterback Terry Wilson Jr. to senior Monta Jackson, who used his 6’3” frame to outleap an Oilers cornerback in the end zone.
Despite Kennedy’s 21-6 advantage, a stout and organized Richmond defense limited the Eagles ground game. Their own offense, dormant for much of the first half, started to move in the third quarter with eight- and 10-yard bursts up the middle from senior DeAndre Ellis, and some gutsy running on end-arounds by senior wide receiver Eric Silva.
But with six minutes left, facing 4th-and-12 deep in Kennedy territory, Oilers quarterback Jonathan De La Cruz dropped back to throw and came under pressure from three Eagles defenders. He lofted a fluttering pass over the middle of the field, which Lincoln intercepted easily, then sprinted down the left sideline to seal the game. The Eagles tacked on a fifth score a few minutes later when senior running back Ernie Timoteo powered in from two yards out for his second rushing touchdown of the evening to make it 35-6.
The loss dropped the Oilers to 1-5 on the season and 0-1 in league play. Richmond head coach Tanaka Merriweather said he was disappointed in mental errors by his team, but proud of their effort during the game.
“We had a couple of blown assignments, we had holding calls, we usually play a pretty clean game. Especially in a game like that, you can’t do those things,” Merriweather said by telephone the next day. “But overall, I was pretty proud. Especially that last drive, when the game was clearly out of reach, we kept fighting.”
On the other sideline, Coach Jackson of Kennedy said the team’s “senior leadership was big for us tonight,” mentioning in particular Lincoln and Timoteo.
Lincoln attributed the victory to hard work put in over a long time. “It’s like a dream,” he said of the win. “All summer we’ve been putting in the work, three-four hours of work, just grinding. Today it all came together.”
Timoteo led the Eagles with 81 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns, while Wilson Jr. threw for 117 yards and touchdown passes to Johnson and sophomore Marcus Kelly.
The victory moves Kennedy to 1-0 in league play and 3-3 on the season.
Slapping Lincoln’s hand at midfield, with his teammates massing steps away for a group photograph, Timoteo said, “3-3 sounds really good.”
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