COLTON — Coming out in a new offense, Colton went right down the field to take the lead against the defending Class 2A state champions.
But Kennedy responded with four unanswered touchdowns to knock off the Vikings 27-6 Friday night.
"We set it up this week and we went out there and smacked them in the mouth," said Colton senior Wyatt Earls of the new offense. "We took it to them rather than them taking it to us."
Instead of lining up at quarterback, Earls started the game at running back, and used his legs to drive deep into Kennedy territory.
"I liked it a lot. I liked having a head of steam when I got to the line," Earls said.
On fourth-and-long from the 25-yard line, Earls then showed off his arm, connecting with Dominic Combest-Day to give the Vikings a 6-0 lead with 6:10 remaining in the first quarter.
"I'm just real proud of their efforts," Colton coach Brynie Robinson said after the game. It was awesome. This is what Friday night lights are all about."
Colton held on to its lead at the end of the first period, but the Trojans answered 48 seconds into the second quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run and extra point by Bruce Beyer to go ahead 7-6.
Kennedy quarterback Dylan Kleinschmit then threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to David Reyes to extend the Trojans lead to 14-6 with 8:02 remaining in the first half.
Kennedy's next possession ended with a sack by Colton senior Zach Rodgers on fourth down at midfield.
But the Vikings could not take advantage of the good field position, and after turning the ball over on downs, Kleinschmit connected with Isaiah Basargin for a 60-yard touchdown with only 16 seconds remaining in the second quarter to give Kennedy a 21-6 lead at halftime.
Colton's defense came out fired up in the second half and got interceptions from Jackson English and Seth Ethington, but the Vikings offense could not turn either turnover into points.
Colton's defense also forced two turnovers on downs in the fourth quarter, one a pass break up by English in the end zone and then a sack with two minutes remaining in the game.
"What is great about the defense is we didn't really make any changes in the second half," Robinson said. "We just came out and executed our game plan. I'm just really proud of their efforts."
But as the rain began to fall harder, the Vikings fumbled the slippery ball at their own 1-yard line, and Reyes needed only one play to reach the end zone to complete the scoring.
"I'm just super proud," Robinson said. "They fought all the way through. I felt like this was the best that we've played together as a team. We were intertwined today more than we've been at any point in the season, and that was cool to see."
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