No. 20 Young propels Kenwood closer to playoffs

By JOSEPH PHILLIPS
Sports Writer

On a cold brisk Saturday afternoon at Ekersall Stadium, high school football fans witnessed one of the greatest individual first half performances in Chicago Public League Football history. Kenwood Academy star runningback, No. 20 Derrick Young, exploded for a Public League record five touchdowns, while compiling 200 all-purpose yards in a 47-to-7 rout over their Windy City conference foes George Washington High School.

“Today’s performance by Derrick [Young] would be talked about 20 years from now,” said Broncos Coach Darnell Jones about Young’s performance.

“Ever since the first day I met him, he always had heart, he always had class, he always had will and he always had determination. I am very proud to be his coach,” Jones said.

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The 5’3” senior amazed the crowd on Saturday with his elusiveness and ability to shed tackles on the field. Young scored on the Broncos’ first four possessions of the game with touchdown runs of 6 yards, 8 yards, 11 yards and 14 yards and would cap off his big day returning a 55-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown, bringing his record total to five touchdowns in a half, while propelling his team to a 40-to-7 lead.

“I just do what my coach [Darnell Jones] tells me,” Young said. “He always emphasizes the importance of keeping my head up when I’m running while watching the opposite team’s linebackers — and most importantly to follow my blocks. Our [offensive] line and defense did an excellent job. Today’s victory was an overall team effort,” Young said.

In the second half, the Broncos would drive a nail in the Patriots’ coffin with one big pass play, as quarterback Dijuan McCollum would connect with quarterback/wide receiver Rhomel Fields on a 63-yard bomb for a touchdown putting the game away for good while activating the 40-point slaughter rule that led to a continuous clock.

Final Score: Kenwood 47, Washington 7

With Saturday’s victory, the Broncos improved to 4-2 in the Windy City conference and 4-4 overall and are now one win away from clinching a playoff berth in the Chicago Public League Playoffs. With a win against Team Englewood next Saturday, it would mark the first time in Kenwood Academy coach Darnell Jones’ tenure that the football team made the playoffs. The lone bright spot for the Washington High Patriots was a 2-yard touchdown run by quarterback Aaron Cruz. With the loss, the Patriots fall to 2-4 in the Windy City conference and 4-4 overall, eliminating them from playoff contention.

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herald@hpherald.com