The Grant Union Prospectors were challenged by Kennedy’s running back Bruce Beyer who kept the scoreboard churning for the Trojans Friday night in John Day, scoring four touchdowns in the team’s 42-14 win at Three Flags Field.
Beyer also kicked six successful PATs for Kennedy.
The Trojans were up 7-0 in the first, and early in the second, Grant Union had a fourth down with two yards to go when Prospector running back Russell Hodge took the handoff nine yards from quarterback Devon Stokes for the first down.
Things looked promising when Stokes connected with wide receiver Jordan Hall for a 14-yard touchdown pass, the Prospectors trailing by 1 point. However, Kennedy then started their onslaught, taking a 21-6 lead at the half.
Grant Union’s defense had some bright moments in the third with Frank Douglass tackling Kennedy for a loss of yards, bringing up second and 11, and Hodge deflecting Kennedy quarterback Dylan Kleinschmit’s pass intended for Braden Traeger. Prospector Eli Wright also recovered Kennedy’s fumble with 6:30 left in the quarter.
Although the situation looked bleak for Grant Union, Kennedy leading 35-6 going into the fourth, the Prospectors continued to battle.
With four minutes left, Prospector Quinten Hallgarth rushed for a first down, then added eight yards, and brought up another first down in the red zone.
In the final minute of the game, Prospector Taylor Hunt rushed five yards up the middle to score a touchdown, and Maverick Miller scored the 2-point conversion on a pass from Stokes.
Hunt said his team “kept fighting and pushing” to get the final 8 points.
Grant Union head coach Jason Miller described Kennedy as a “good quality, well-coached football team.”
“The line on both sides of the ball is tough, the running backs are tough,” Miller said of Kennedy. “We’ve got to get better. We need to improve our toughness.”
Grant Union, now ranked No. 26, has faced five strong nonleague teams for five straight losses. Each team they’ve gone up against is ranked in the top 16 — the Trojans, the defending 2A champions led by head coach Joe Panuke, are ranked No. 4.
“We’ve had a tough early schedule,” Miller said. “We’ll see if our guys can respond to that.”
The Prospectors host the Stanfield Tigers at 7 p.m. Friday for their league opener.
“I think we’ll be where we need to be for league,” Hunt said.