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Kentwood stays undefeated | Football
While Kentlake and Tahoma struggled on the road, Kentwood held off Kent-Meridian at French Field for a narrow victory in overtime to stay undefeated on the season.
Kent-Meridian took a 15-13 lead into halftime after scoring first on a two-yard run by Robert Nelson III — who punched it in for the Royals all three times against the Conquerors — with two minutes, 57 seconds left in the first quarter.
Kentwood answered with its only passing touchdown of the night. Sytsma set up the score with a 34-yard run after it bounced it outside then hustled up the sidelines. Two plays later Brian Campbell found D'Vaughan Wells for a seven yard touchdown pass with 1:23 left in the first period.
After both teams drives sputtered in the second quarter, Kent-Meridian quarterback Quincy Carter handed the ball off to Nelson again for another short scoring run. Brian Hatfield, the holder for the point after, had trouble with the snap but scooped up the ball and tossed it to a waiting receiver in the end zone for the two point conversion, putting the Royals up 15-7 with 5:33 left in the first half.
After a series of punts, fumbles and recoveries, Kentwood had the ball late in the second quarter to push to close the gap.
Austin Owens hauled in a long catch after the Conks started on their own 41 to put the team on the Royals' five. Sytsma followed his blocker right into the end zone for his first touchdown of the night with 33 seconds left in the half. The two point conversion run attempt was stuffed, however, and the score was at 15-13 as the teams went into the locker room.
Carter, who returned for Kent-Meridian after suffering a concussion two games earlier, scampered 20 yards on fourth and 12 from the Kentwood 32 to set up Nelson's second rushing touchdown of the evening from the 12 to make it 21-13 with 1:23 left in the third quarter to cap an eight-play, 56 yard drive which chewed up 2:31 of time off the clock. Kentwood blocked the PAT attempt.
Kentwood was forced to punt on its next drive but the Conks defense stepped up as Terrence Grady led the blitz to sack Carter on fourth down. Kentwood took over on its own 40 and got to work, as Campbell put the ball in the hands of Sytsma and Derrick Bell. Two successive runs by Bell set up the Conks final touchdown in regular. Bell picked up 14 yards then tiptoed his way up the sideline in front of the Kentwood bench to the five yard line. Three plays later Sytsma wrestled his way into the end zone for the touchdown then Bell darted in for the two point conversion to tie it at 21-21 with 2:50 left in the game.
Neither team was able to move the ball in the final moments of regulation pushing it into overtime.Kent-Meridian scored first but the point after kick sailed wide right, giving the Royals a 27-21 lead.
On fourth and two from the three-yard line, Sytsma took the ball right up the middle for the touchdown and Conks kicker Min Park hit the PAT for the win.
Kentwood hosts SPSL South foe Rogers at 7 p.m. Friday at French Field in a non-league contest.
SPSL 4A North Week Four:
Auburn Riverside 19, Kentlake 6
Riverside took a 13-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back against the Falcons.
Joshua Turner returned a Kentlake fumble for a Riverside touchdown then Drew Wallen pulled in an eight-yard pass for a touchdown.
Meanwhile, Tino Wells put together a 64-yard touchdown run for Kentlake, which dropped to 0-3 in league and 0-4 overall.
Kentlake hosts Auburn at 7 p.m. Thursday at French Field.
Auburn 34, Tahoma 14
Auburn earned its third win of the season Friday with a 34-14 South Puget Sound League North 4A win over Tahoma at Auburn Memorial Stadium.The Trojans improved to 3-1 league, 3-1 overall thanks to its ground game. Auburn piled up 373 rushing yards with sophomore halfback Ercle Terrell notching 149 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown.
Auburn raced out to a 21-0 lead by halftime with William Jefferies, Brier Atkinson and Patrick O'Dell producing rushing touchdowns.
In the second half, the Trojans added 13 points, with Atkinson and Terrell rushing for touchdowns.Tahoma, which dropped to 1-2 in league and 2-2 overall, got its two scores, rushing touchdowns by Jerome Woods, in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.
The Trojans racked up 403 yards of total offense and held the Bears to just 200.Auburn plays Kentlake at 7 p.m. Thursday at French Field in Kent.
Auburn Reporter staff writer Shawn Skager contributed to this report.