By Joseph Phillips
After a tough road loss to Englewood-Urban Prep last week at Gately Stadium, the Kenwood Academy Broncos would return to the field on Friday night against the DuSable Panthers with one thing on their mind: “A win,” said Broncos Head Coach Darnell Jones.
“We need this one, we need this one bad.” Jones said.
With homecoming pride at stake and a sense of urgency from the team, the Broncos were poised to make a splash early, exploding for 14 first quarter points courtesy of star running back, No. 20 Derrick Young, who scored on a 25-yard touchdown run, and wide receiver Saintario Mitchell and his electrifying 65-yard kick-off return for a touchdown, giving Kenwood a 21-6 lead at the half.
“We had a lot of success running the ball,” said Kenwood Athletic Director Bill Kluber on the team’s first half performance
“[For] a moment, there we were going back and forth on possessions, then finally [we] responded with a big kick-off return by Saintario [Mitchell],” Kluber said.
Nature would play a role in the second half, as the sun would set on old Eckersaw Stadium, one of the few football fields in the city without lights. Both teams played in darkness for the final two quarters of the game and complained about the inability to see the white chalked lines on the field.
“We must finish this game,” said a disappointed Panthers fan on his team playing from behind. “The momentum is starting to swing our way. With a few stops we can get back in this game.”
The Panthers chose to be the aggressor during the second half. They scored 16 unanswered points including two 2-point conversions, trimming the lead to five at 27-22 with two minutes to play and a chance for an onside kick. Although they were successful on recovering the kick, the Broncos defense were too much for Panthers quarterback, No. 4 Lonzell Easton, and they forced him to run out of bounds on 4th and long as time expired.
Final Score: Kenwood 27, DuSable 22
This win caps a successful homecoming week for the Broncos as they improve to 3-2 in the Windy City conference and 3-4 overall. With the loss, DuSable is now a dismal 0-5 in the Windy City conference and 0-6 overall.