Defense was the theme Friday night at Federal Way Memorial Stadium as Kentwood set a team record in rushing yards allowed and created just enough offense to come away with a 25-7 victory over Thomas Jefferson.
Kentwood, which limited its South Puget Sound League North division foe to a school record minus-53 rushing yards and 62 total yards, managed to accumulate 224 total yards of offense and put together two touchdown drives.
“We have some very good athletes, and they’re just starting to learn the system,” said Kentwood head coach Rex Norris. “What we’re doing is brand new, and we’re playing with it too as a staff. So, we’re using our athletes and putting them in good spots.”
Terrence Grady and Brandon Sytsma scored touchdowns and Brandyn Bangsund kicked field goals of 30, 23 and 38 yards for the Conquerors (2-0).
The Conquerors led 3-0 in the second quarter when sophomore quarterback Brian Campbell lobbed the ball to an open Grady in the back of the end zone from 22 yards.
Thomas Jefferson (1-1), which had struggles moving the ball after starting quarterback Niko DeLaCruz was injured on its first drive, got a break on a long pass down the sidelines to Tyrell Williams late in the first half.
Kentwood’s Derrick Bell appeared to intercept the pass from backup quarterback Brandon Bowman. But reminiscent of the Seattle Seahawks-Green Bay Packers controversial call last year, it was called a tie and ruled a catch.
Jefferson (1-1) concluded the 78-yard drive and pulled within 10-7 with a 20-yard TD pass to Williams on another break: The overthrown pass was tipped by a defender into Williams’ hands at the 1-yard line with 1:29 to go in the half.
Sytsma, a senior running back, powered his way into the end zone from 6 yards out in the fourth quarter for a 22-7 Kentwood lead.