By Jeremy McDonald
AMITY, Ore.– Kennedy’s Elijah Traeger has been heating up like the grill with the same last name this season stepping in for the recently-graduated Riley Cantu. All puns aside from Traeger and the Traeger Grill, the Trojan junior continued to develop and grow as a Quarterback as the football Traeger accounted for three passing touchdowns and a rushing score in Kennedy’s 42-0 win over Amity Friday night on the road.
Spoiling the Warriors Homecoming Football Game as the Trojans improve to 7-0 on the season.
“It’s been big. At the beginning of the year, my passing wasn’t on point and over time I definitely felt comfortable in the position throwing the ball and that’s definitely my weakness in the beginning was throwing the ball. But I definitely got a lot more comfortable,” Traeger said. “We knew (Amity) was going to come out and be a tough team, so we knew that they were going to bring some heat. We saw on film that they were blitzing a lot, we knew it was going to be a big game.”
Kennedy was prepared for what Amity threw their way. The squad led 14-0 after one and pushed their lead to 35-0. Without William Schaecher and Carlos Recendiz, both out with injury, the Trojans retooled. Javier Rodriguez and Charlie Beyer took the bulk of the carries with Traeger running it a few times himself.
Amity knew this game, like their game with Santiam Christian a few weeks ago, were going to be challenging. But they’re good challenges as they now prepare for Salem Academy and Dayton to close out the regular season with hopes of slipping into the 3A State Playoffs. They point out where they can improve on as the Warriors were coming off of wins against Newport and Jefferson.
“It’ll help a lot. It really points out all of our weak points in our offense and our defense and where we struggle the most. Playing great teams like these guys, who will go on to compete in the State Championship. I mean these guys are incredible players, all of them,” said Amity’s Alec Prevett. “So we’re going to come back out and take what we’ve learned in this game and go attack Salem Academy and then take what we learned from Salem Academy and move onto Dayton.”
Reading the ball and plays a little bit better, offensive line needing to move people around and re-established the line of scrimmage to open up holes, the backfield needing to use their eyes a little more and limiting penalties were some of the things Prevett pointed to in what they can improve upon going into Week 8.
For the Trojans, they continue on their incredible 3A journey unbeaten as they finish the regular season with a roadtrip to the coast Friday to play Newport before hosting the Eagles of Santiam Christian on October 28. Kennedy won’t overlook either opponent as they look to close out the regular season strongly.
“Newport isn’t a bad team so we’re looking forward to playing them and then we got Santiam Christian after that, so it’ll be a big for us. We just need to keep running it and passing it, I mean just listen to our coaches. Our plays are there,” Traeger said.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald