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Kennett moves to 3-0 with win over Oxford

Julian Sparacino (33) and Connor Tuk Celebrate Sparacino’s TD (BILL RUDICK for MediaNews Group)

OXFORD—Both Kennett and Oxford came into Friday night’s Ches-Mont American division game with 2-0 records. Behind a grind it out running game and a bend-but-don’t break defense, it was the visiting Blue Demons (3-0, 2-0) who kept the winning streak alive, mounting a second half comeback to win going away, 26-13. Oxford falls to 2-1, 1-1 in the American.

“This is amazing to be sitting here 3-0,” said Kennett coach Lance Frazier. “We are so young in places, with a lot of freshmen playing varsity, and they are really stepping up. Defensively, we have guys stepping up and making the plays when we need them most.”

The Demons came out of the gate running on all cylinders. Kalen Frazier returned the opening kick 44 yards to the Oxford 42, scoring five plays later on a 17-yard run from Julian Sparacino. 

Kalen Frazier hands off to David Lillis (BILL RUDICK for MediaNews Group)

But the Hornets answered right back with a nice drive of their own, covering 80-yards on five plays, highlighted by a 50-yard pass play from Dustin Long to Ryan Evans, and capped by a 7-yard scamper from Dom Pantalone.

Unfortunately for Oxford, too many other drives on the night stalled deep in Kennett territory. Three different times the Hornets drove inside the Demon 20, only to come up empty. When their backs were against the wall, the Demons made the plays on defense.

“You can’t win games if you can’t finish drives,” said Oxford coach Mike Means. “Too many times we got in the red zone, and came up with zero points. Our defense can’t hang on forever. Hats off to Kennett, they are a good, well-coached team that played good football, and we didn’t.”

Oxford’s Dustin Long passes. Long threw for 215 yards on the night (BILL RUDICK for MediaNews Group)

Indeed, the Hornets actually finished the night with more total yards, 415-351.

“But rolling up the yards doesn’t mean anything if you can’t finish the drive with a score,” said Means.

One of those drives ended when the Demons’ Luke Good picked off a pass inside the ten.

“I managed to get underneath it, and picked it off,” said Good. “I knew we needed to make a play at that point and I’m just glad I could. We all stepped up in the big moments—bent but didn’t break. We have a lot of young guys getting great experience, and we have to keep building on that.”

David Lillis (125 yards on 12 carries, TD) led a potent Demons rushing attack that rolled up 244 yards. Frazier, who added 91-yards on 13 carries, was 8 of 16 for 115 yards passing. 

Kennet’s David Lillis bulls forward for an extra yard as he’s brought down by Landen Turk (BILL RUDICK for MediaNews Group)

“That’s our strength right now,” said Frazier. “It’s a great thing to have when you can grind it out and run out the clock.”

The Kennett special teams got in on the fun, too. Kicker Ryan Barker connected on a pair of field goals, one from 38, the other from 36.

Ryan Barker watches the ball go through the uprights on one of two field goals for the game (BILL RUDICK for MediaNews Group)

“That kids is going to play division one somewhere,” said Frazier of Barker. “He’s a soccer player that is mostly self-taught in football. His passion for the game has him ready for these moments. He wants the shot to get the field goal.”

The Hornets only other score came in the third, when another long pass, this time from Long to Evans for 83 yards, set up a short run by Long.

“The defense is getting it done for us,” said Frazier. “They kept making the plays, and there’s only 13 points up there. I’m really proud of them.”

Kennett 26 Oxford 13

Kennett 10 0 3 13 –26
Oxford 6 0 7 0 –13

First Quarter
KEN—Sparacino 17-run (Barker kick) 7-0
OX—Pantalone 7-run (kick fail) 7-6

Third Quarter
OX—Long 4-run (Smith kick) 13-10
KEN—Barker 35-FG 13-13
Fourth Quarter
KEN—Frazier 1-run (kick fail) 19-13
KEN—Lillis 64-run (Barker kick) 26-13

Team Statistics
First downs 16-14
Rushes-yards 33-244 32-200
Passing 8-16 7-18
Passing yards 107 215
Total yards 351 415
Punts 4-27.6 1-27
Fumbles-lost 2-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 6-40 5-35
Individual statistics
Rushing—KEN Lillis 12-125, (TD), Frazier 13-91 (TD) Sparacino 6-25 (TD) Jung 2-3 OX Long 12-87 (TD) Hunsicker 7-50, Pantalone 6-40 (TD) Piskun 4-19, Evans 1-1 Jones 1-3

Passing — KEN Frazier 8-16-107 OX—Long 8-18-215, INT
Receiving —KEN Waterman 3-21 Good 1-22 Jung 2-42 Boddy 2-22 OX—Evans 3-133, Piksun 1-22, Hunsicker 2-54, Jones 1-6




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