Football: Trojans shut out Outlaws in first round
What started out as a rough season has turned into a surprise postseason run for the No. 10 Kennedy Trojans, who shut out the Enterprise Outlaws 33-0 in the first round of the 2A State Playoffs Saturday.
Kennedy (4-6, 2-2 Tri-River Conference) has put up back-to-back shutout victories in the last two weeks after defeating the Regis Rams 34-0 in the final game of the regular season. The Trojans last surrendered a touchdown on Oct. 20 in a 30-16 loss to the No. 5 Santiam Wolverines.
Since then, the Kennedy defense has gone eight quarters totaling 96 minutes of game time without surrendering a score, culminating in the big win over the No. 7 Outlaws (3-4, 2-1 Wapiti League), who were hosting the playoff game more than 350 miles away from Mount Angel.
The Trojans were led by senior linebacker Daniel Moreno, who led the team with 13 tackles. Senior defensive back Anthony Garcia pulled down two interceptions, while freshman counterpart Isaiah Basargin picked off one of his own, as the Kennedy defense held Enterprise to just 125 yards on the day.
On offense, the Trojan s were led by running back duo sophomore Emorej Lynk and junior Bryce Vandervort, who combined for 50 carries in the victory over the Outlaws. Lynk led the team with 30 carries for 173 yards and two touchdowns, while Vandervort added 92 yards and two more touchdowns on 20 carries.
Freshman quarterback Dylan Kleinschmit completed three passes for 88 yards.
The Trojans are making their third consecutive trip to the quarterfinals and will face the No. 2 Dallas Dragons (8-1, 4-0 Mountain View Conference) on Friday. The two teams met earlier in the season when the Dragons beat the Trojans 28-0 in Mount Angel on Sept. 8. That was the start of a seven-game win streak for Dallas that continued last week in a 48-0 victory over Stanfield in the first round of the playoffs.
Following the conclusion of the regular season, the Kennedy football team earned 16 nominations in the Tri-River All-Conference awards.
Lynk and junior Nick Suing both earned First Team nominations on both offense and defense, leading five players who earned awards on both sides of the ball.
Vandervort earned Second Team honors on offense and Honorable Mention on defense, as did senior Christian Reyes and Moreno.
Kleinschmit and senior Christian Larios earned Honorable Mention nods on offense. On special teams, sophomore Bruce Beyer was selected First Team kicker, while senior Jorge Espinoza earned Second Team honors as a punter.