Kennedy hangs on to beat Seattle Prep
By Tim Clinton
They were celebrating in Lancer land Friday night after Kennedy Catholic held on for a 28-25 non-league victory over Seattle Prep.
The main and oft-repeated reason for departing fans' excitement was that they said it was the best game for the Lancers in years, as they normally have pounded their foes into submission.
This time they had their hands full from the Panthers of the Metro League, which is something they will have to get used to as they open North Puget Sound League Class 4A action with a 7 p.m. visit to Kentwood at French Field this coming Saturday.
Friday's game against Seattle Prep was not decided until the bitter end.
The Panthers were down 28-25 but had the ball and marched it down to the Kennedy 9-yard line.
But it was lost on the next play, with Trevor Hoffman of the Lancers grabbing it to save the day with 31 seconds remaining.
Kennedy took over at the 13-yard line and quarterback Ben Gaoteote took a knee to run out the clock.
Kendall Oakes scored the first touchdown of the game for the Lancers with 2:19 remaining in the first quarter, going through the middle from the 3-yard line. Jared Thurber's kick made it 7-0.
Seattle Prep knotted it up again six seconds into the second quarter as quarterback Kalu Stricklin fired off a 26-yard touchdown pass to Gabe Blake. Adam Ambuske booted the extra point to make it 7-7.
The Lancers answered 19 seconds later on their first play after a 60-yard kickoff return by Keannu Royster to the Panther 25-yard line. Gaoteote found Thurber wide open on the left side for the score, then Thurber turned around to kick the point after touchdown and make it a 14-7 game.
The margin was cut to 14-10 with five seconds left in the half as Ambuske kicked a 35-yard field goal for Seattle Prep.
Seattle Prep slipped into the lead at 5:26 to go in the third quarter.
Stricklin scored on a 2-yard run and Ambuske made the PAT to make it 17-14.
Kennedy Catholic took the lead back at 21-17 with 3:13 left in the quarter. Gaoteote threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Primo Ramirez and Thurber's kick was good.
The Lancers added some much needed padding to their lead with 7:36 to go in the fourth quarter.
Gaoteote punched in a 2-yard keeper and Thurber's kick made it 28-17.
Seattle Prep came storming back to cut the lead to 28-25 with 6:33 remaining.
Jacob Terao scored on a 2-yard run and Stricklin passed to Jaxon Woodward for a two-point conversion.
Kennedy held on for dear life from there, with Hoffman's fumble recovery deciding the game.