By Jeremy McDonald
HERMINSTON, Ore.– This was what you hoped for when the two best defense’s in 2A met Saturday afternoon at Herminston.
When Jayden Wilson scored from two-yards out to push Heppner’s lead to 12-0 with 5:35, Wilson’s 57-yard scamper on the second play of the game was the lone scoring strike by either the Mustangs or Kennedy against the either.
Both squads defense’s forced a combined nine punts, five fumble recoveries and three interceptions in a game which held true at 6-0 for 42 minutes and 19 seconds entering the final 5:35 of the game.
“I think we played the best defense we’ve had all year. Our defense has been great all season and today we showed that,” said Isaiah Basarign.
Basarign’s 80-yard interception came roughly 15-yards of turning the 6-0 game into at least a share of the tie at the halftime buzzer. Basarign also had a pass break-up, four tackles on defense with the interception.
The Kennedy defense held the Heppner offense to one-for-ten on third down, ten first downs and held the Mustang offense to 240 total yards on 49 plays. With a strong core that includes two-way players like Basarign and Dylan Kleinschmit returning next year,
“If we can stick to Trojan Football and do what our coaches tell us, we’ll be just fine,” said Basarign, who added five receptions for 59 yards. “We just got to keep working our butts off in practice and get into the weight room and get better. Do the best that we can.”
Kleinschmit and the offense found a rhythm following Wilson’s score. Kleinschmit, after starting the game 3-for-12, went 8-for-11 resulting in a 13-yard connection with David Reyes with 45 seconds remaining on the game.
Knowing he and his offense weren’t having the best game in the world, they just knew they had to get something done to get back into the game.
Kennedy’s offense only produced seven points after scoring at least 20-points in nine of 12 games this season (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)
“We didn’t start too quick. For me, I wasn’t even close to (having) my best game. I was just off all game. Just got the guys fired up, we knew we had to go down and score and just got it done,” said Kleinschmit.
Entering his Senior Year, Kleinschmit mentioned that they could work on sharpening up their offense as he finished with his Junior Year finished 11-for-23 for 114 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
Bruce Beyer and Reyes each had two receptions, Reyes led the offense for 39 yards as Kennedy finished the year second in 2A and 10-2 overall.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald