Kenton Ridge defensive back Zach Schneider had gotten fired up Friday to play rival Northeastern, and he didn’t want to lose his edge overnight when the game was postponed by lightning with two quarters still to play.
“When I got home, all I thought about was the game,” he said. “I watched my favorite highlights, Cam Chancellor highlights.”
He said he watches the clips on his laptop at least twice a week. Asked what he likes about Seattle’s All-Pro safety, Schneider said, “His big hits.”
The Kenton Ridge defense dispensed plenty of big hits in the second half to rally from a 14-13 deficit for a 22-20 victory Saturday morning.
The unit allowed only 93 yards and six points after halftime to post their seventh straight win between a pair of teams that share a school district.
“We were lucky to get out with a W,” 14th-year KR coach Joel Marratta said. “They were well-coached and were ready for everything we had. We strung enough plays together to be victorious.”
The Cougars, who have been to the playoffs three straight years, had plenty of miscues, including about 10 botched exchanges on shotgun snaps.
But Schneider had two second-half interceptions and Cal Phillips one to keep the NE offense in check. Phillips also had an 80-yard kickoff return for a TD in the first half.
“It shows our (lack of) Friday night experience,” Marratta said. “That caught up to us. Hopefully, we’ll be better next week.”
KR senior Cameron Kettler kicked a 40-yard field goal (the first of his career) for a 16-14 lead.
QB Noah Schleinitz then completed a 30-yard TD pass to freshman Calvin Dibert midway through the fourth quarter. Though the PAT was blocked, they led, 22-14.
But the Jets answered with a 72-yard TD on a halfback pass from Bo Davis to Max Queen. The threat ended, though, when a short pass on a two-point try went awry.
Senior star Wes Roberts scored on a 60-yard interception return and a 22-yard reception and also had a fumble recovery for the Jets, who had lost each of the previous six games in the series by at least two TDs.
“Like I told the kids, we’ve got a good football team and we’re going to keep fighting,” said second-year NE coach Tim Houseman, whose team went 2-8 last year. “We’ve just got to keep playing hard, and the wins will come.”