Blue Devils score the last two touchdowns to earn win in Jamboree Game.
SPRINGFIELD — Kenton Ridge got off to a fast start in a scrimmage against Brookville on Friday at Richard L. Phillips Field. But as the game wore on, the Cougars wore down and Brookville took over and won 28-17.
The Cougars scored on their first possession and recovered a Brookville fumble a minute later. But they couldn’t sustain the momentum through three quarters of varsity play as the Blue Devils’ running game wore them down.
Kenton Ridge head coach Joel Marratta said the performance showed plenty needs fixed before the teams opens the season next Friday at home against Northeastern.
“We need to work harder in conditioning because we’re not super deep,” Marratta said. “We’ve got to get in better shape and be more physical and tackle better. Our physicality tonight I don’t think was as good as it was in our first two scrimmages.”
But there were a few highlights for the Cougars, who are getting used to playing without Jayden Davis carrying the load. Davis, who’s now at Ohio Dominican, ran for 2,163 yards in 2015 and was a key piece of the offense for the last four years.
Marratta said the Cougars will use several players to carry the running load this season, and they did from the first drive against Brookville.
Kenton Ridge drove nearly 80 yards on the first possession, and Kobe Holtz, Zach Schneider and quarterback Noah Schleinitz all had big runs to keep the drive alive. Luke Holt ran by several defenders and dove into the front corner of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown run to cap off the possession and give the Cougars a 7-0 lead.
Brookville’s Dylan Hensley scored on a 15-yard touchdown run late in the first to tie the game. The Blue Devils scored on their next possession on a 5-yard touchdown run from Ben Brophy, which gave them the lead at 13-7 after a botched extra-point attempt.
Kenton Ridge methodically worked the ball on its next drive. A potential touchdown by Cal Phillips was called back because of a penalty, which pinned the Cougars back near the 20-yard line. They responded with gains on their next two plays, and Schleinitz followed with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Schneider. Cameron Kettler made the extra point to give the Cougars a 14-13 lead with 3:34 left in the second.
The Cougars’ defense couldn’t stop Brookville as the game wore on. The Blue Devils scored on a one-yard touchdown run by Jacob Filbrun with 36 seconds left, and then completed a pass for a two-point conversion. They got the ball to start the second half and scored on an 80-yard touchdown run on their second play.
Kenton Ridge’s offense moved the ball some in the third quarter but couldn’t score. Kettler kicked a 29-yard field goal late in the third for the game’s final points. Both school’s junior varsity teams played in the fourth.
Marratta was happy the team was able to put together two long drives, but said there were issues with playing consistently.
“We just needed to put more plays together,” Marratta said. “We didn’t hit anything big tonight, which doesn’t concern me except that we need to string 10- and 12-play drives together if we’re going to have a lot of success. We’ve got to spread the ball around because we don’t have a go-to guy. We have a lot of guys that can tote the mail. We’ll figure it out.”
The Cougars have had winning records every year since 2010, and Marratta thinks the pieces are there for another good season. They have seven returning starters and some talented underclassmen.
Kenton Ridge hasn’t lost to Northeastern since 2009.