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PREP FOOTBALL / EMPIRE LEAGUE

McKnight Shines for Kennedy in All-Around Rout of Century

October 20, 2000|VINCE DiCANZIO | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Kennedy's Rhema McKnight gave Century all-around fits and led the Fighting Irish to a 41-22 Empire League victory at Santa Ana Stadium Thursday.

McKnight caught touchdown passes of 55 and eight yards, returned a punt for another score, and intercepted a Joe Rivera pass deep in Kennedy territory--all in the first half.

"He's such a weapon that he just opens things up for everybody," Kennedy Coach Mitch Olson said. "You have to pay attention to him, and tonight on the single coverage he could do pretty much anything he wanted."

Quarterback Geoff Etherson was near perfect in the first quarter, completing all five of his passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns, as Kennedy built an 21-0 lead.

Etherson had such a good outing that Olson rewarded the effort by giving him the final three quarters off.

Kennedy's offensive possessions were short-lived but effective. The 55-yard scoring pass from Etherson to McKnight capped a three-play, 74-yard drive that gave the Fighting Irish a 7-0 advantage.

Kennedy (6-1, 2-0) increased the lead to 14-0 on Kelvin Beatty's two-yard run, which followed the first play of the drive--a 47-yard McKnight reception.

After a short Century punt gave Kennedy the ball at the 37-yard line, Etherson again went to McKnight and drew a pass interference call to advance to the 22. Four plays later, the two hooked up for an eight-yard touchdown pass to make it 21-0.

And just before halftime, McKnight returned a Century punt 43 yards for a 28-0 halftime lead.

Rivera threw for most of his 182 yards in the second half, when the game was out of reach. William Lockington, a 255-pound senior running back, scored twice on one-yard runs to put Century (1-6, 0-2) on the board.

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