Trojans Set Tone Early Against Santiam

By Jeremy McDonald

MILL CITY, Ore.–  Opportunities to do damage against the Kennedy machine are few and you have to execute on them to keep up and have a chance against them on Game Day.

The Trojan Men scored on their first possession and took advantage of a Santiam turnover in the first quarter to build an early 12-0 lead in their 32-6 victory over the Wolverines Friday night on the road.

“It’s huge, helping momentum and getting stops, turnovers and stuff.  We got such an explosive offense…thought we executed well.  Ran the stuff we’re strong at and I thought overall everyone did well with that,” Kennedy’s Riley Cantu said.

Cantu was playing with a bummed thumb in Friday’s game, the senior quarterback dislocated the digit last week in the second quarter against Heppner and split time with Elijah Traeger at quarter during the game.

Nonetheless Cantu went 12-for-21 for 173 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.

Cantu handles the snap with his left hand padded up during Friday’s game at Santiam (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

“I thought I did well considering the conditions, everyone stepped up in different spots for me.  I thought we all played well and executed well,” Cantu said.

Santiam worked the middle of the drive down two scores, Matt Brady finding some success on the ground with the Wolverines looking for some success.  Brady, Quentin Clark and Trenton Stafford all gathered at least 45 yards on the ground as Clark cut the then 12-0 lead in half with a four-yard run.

That was at the 6:46 mark of the opening half.  But the single-score margin was short-lived as Cantu, coming off of one of his possession breaks, drove the Trojans down that resulted in a Cantu-Owen Bruner 20-yard connection with Kennedy leading 18-6 at halftime.

“It’s just the little things that we need to work on.  We work hard every day, the little things get it down to a science but when game time comes I guess it’s that adrenaline,” Santiam’s Trenton Stafford said.  “We just got to work.  If we want to get into the playoffs, we need to work harder.”

Stafford collected 47 yards on 14 carries, Brady had 45 yards and Clark led the offensive charge with 71 yards on the ground on 14 carries.  The Wolverines close out the regular season with Salem Academy, Regis and Colton.  Their October 15 game against the Rams is their final home game of the year.

Santiam had cut the Kennedy lead to six midway through the second quarter, but the Trojans would hold the Wolverines to the score in the 32-6 victory (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

The Trojans host Regis this upcoming Friday before closing out the season at Gervais and back-to-back home games against Culver and Salem Academy.

“Its huge.  Looking at Regis, they put up a lot of points.  We’ll just look to contain them, play good defense, get out reads and run everything right all the time.  All the plays and come out and play fast, physical and smart,” Cantu said of Regis.

Bruner had 111 yards on 11 carries and a rushing touchdown to go with his receiving touchdown for the Trojans.  Luke Beyer had four receptions for 70 yards with a touchdown as well.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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