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ORANGE COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

Etherson Is Nearly Perfect in Leading Kennedy to Victory

October 28, 2000|VINCE DiCANZIO

Geoff Etherson was nearly unstoppable Friday night as he completed 17 of 19 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns to lead Kennedy to a 26-0 Empire League victory over Katella at Western High.

Reaping the benefits of Etherson's accuracy was wide receiver Rhema McKnight, who caught 10 passes for 179 yards, including a 32-yard leaping grab between two defenders in the end zone to give Kennedy a 7-0 first-quarter lead.

After Katella quarterback Chris Haller fumbled the snap at the 17-yard line with 48 seconds left in the first half, Kennedy quickly capitalized on the miscue. Etherson found McKnight for a 16-yard pass to the one, and Kelvin Beatty took it in for the touchdown on the next play for a 14-0 halftime lead.

Kennedy (7-1 overall, 3-0) scored on the opening drive of the second half as Etherson eluded several would-be tacklers in the backfield and fired a 34-yard touchdown strike to a wide-open Dionte Holloway, finishing off a six-play, 63-yard drive.

The game's final score was highlighted by the hustle of Holloway. From the 38, Etherson lobbed a pass to McKnight along the sideline. McKnight caught the ball, juked a defender and appeared to have an easy score. However, McKnight was stripped of the ball at the seven, it rolled into the end zone, and Holloway covered it up for a 26-0 lead.

The Fighting Irish defense, which allowed only 13 points a game, kept Katella (3-5, 1-2) out of its territory most of the game. Ruben Torres was a bright spot for the Knights, finishing with 103 yards rushing in 25 carries.

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