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The traveling Trojans shut out the Vikings for 47:55 of the 48-minute game; Colton scores on a last-second pass.

The No. 1-ranked team in the state at 2A proved why they had the top spot on Friday, Sept. 17. Kennedy traveled to Colton, ranked No. 6 at 2A prior to the game and put up a score of 48-8 by the time the final horn sounded.

With the win, Kennedy improved to 3-0 on the season, including 1-0 in league play. Colton falls to 1-1 with the defeat, dropping its first game in league.

"I thought it was a good team win," Kennedy head coach Joe Panuke said. "I thought we played well, our offensive line blocked well, running backs ran hard, receivers ran good routes … we talked about running better routes and finishing routes, they did a great job. Defense has been lights out all year. We're tough, big and strong up front (and) our backers ran real well."

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Kennedys ground game was crucial in the 48-8 blowout win over Colton on Friday, Sept. 17.

The Trojans jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter with their first possession, getting on the board courtesy of a rushing touchdown from sophomore running back Elijah Traeger. Kennedy got the ball back less than 10 seconds later after Colton fumbled it on the kickoff return, and in four plays, senior quarterback Riley Cantu got his first touchdown pass of the night.

"Riley Cantu (is) our quarterback, he's our captain, our general," Panuke said. "He did well running the offense and threw the ball well and ran it when he had to."

The final touchdown of the first quarter for Kennedy came with 30 seconds left on the scoreboard. After marching the ball in from the 50-yard-line, Kennedy's Traeger once again punched it in for the score.

The second quarter was much more jagged, with both teams getting flagged for penalties and turnovers from both teams. But Kennedy still managed to score once again before halftime, with Cantu connecting with junior Ethan Kleinschmit for the touchdown.

It was 27-0 at the half, with Kennedy freshman kicker Josiah Martinez able to connect on three of four extra point attempts.

"We're always happy, we want to play well and be up going out of the first half," Panuke said. "But we always tell them at halftime that it's zero to zero coming out of half -- you never know. They've got some explosive backs and the quarterback throws it well, just talked about not giving up big plays and not giving up stupid penalties and coming out and winning the second half."

In the second half Kennedy put up three more touchdowns, two in the third quarter and one in the fourth, including a pick-six from junior Luke Beyer. It looked to be a shutout for the home team, but Colton marched down the field with time expiring and senior quarterback Dominic Combest-Day threw to senior Travers Rogers for the last second touchdown. Rogers completed the two-point conversion to give Colton a consolatory eight points.

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - Coltons Dominic Combest-Day was part of the lone scoring play for the Vikings, completing a touchdown pass as time expired in the game.

"They came back in the second half," Colton head coach Jason Stewart said. "They got tired of being bullied. None of the calls went our way, either. There's a bunch of calls that should have (gone) our way. Other than that, we're better than what you saw tonight. We'll be back against Salem Academy and we'll get going again."

Colton will have the upcoming week to try and right the ship, and Stewart hopes to get them back on track with quality reps Monday through Thursday.

"We need to have a good week of practice and go forward," Stewart said. "We have to leave this game here and keep fighting forward. Hopefully we meet them in the playoffs."

Kennedy (3-0) returns home to face Heppner (3-0) on Friday, Sept. 24, in a non-league game. Colton (1-1) meanwhile takes to the road to face off against Salem Academy (0-3) the same day.


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