Offense and Kentwood High School football haven’t been all that synonymous over the program’s history.
But after a season-opening loss to Curtis, first-year coach Mike Bush said he’s taken the training wheels off this Conquerors attack.
Kentwood won its fourth consecutive game Friday, rallying back from a quick two-touchdown deficit to beat previously unbeaten Tahoma, 55-30, at French Field in Kent.
The Conks (4-1, 2-0 4A SPSL Northeast) have averaged 44 points per game since that season-opening loss, including 62 points last week.
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“I think it was partially my fault. I was nervous about making the right play calls, and I was hesitant in making the calls,” said Bush, the former Washington State University football and basketball star. “I just got to believe in our guys — and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”
Kentwood running back Chavez Kalua-Fuimaono had 34 carries for 238 yards and four touchdowns. He goes by “Chevy” not just because it’s easier to say than his full name, but also because he runs like a truck.
“He’s just a tough, physical kid,” Tahoma coach Tony Davis said. “And we didn’t do a good job of tackling him tonight.”
It looked like he was running on diesel in the second half. Kentwood led 24-17 at halftime, but got two quick third-quarter touchdowns from Kalua-Fuimaono and never looked back.
“I think we made a statement today. That we are here to play,” Kalua-Fuimaono said. “I think we are ready to get rolling.”
Though originally it was Tahoma that looked like it would roll.
The Bears (4-1, 1-1) needed just eight offensive plays to score two touchdowns in the first quarter, taking a 14-0 lead.
“I think that’s who we are,” Davis said. “Now we just go to figure out what changed.”
Kentwood’s Grant Stockman caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from Brian Campbell. And Tahoma’s surging offense suddenly stumbled, with Kentwood’s Jawann Gault picking off Tahoma quarterback Amandre Williams’ screen pass and running it back 46 yards for a touchdown.
Tahoma reached the Kentwood 1 on Cole Peckham’s 11-yard reception, but he fumbled it at the end of the play and the Conquerors recovered.
Nine plays and 99 yards later — including Campbell’s 47-yard run — Kentwood scored a touchdown and took a 21-14 lead.
Then as smooth as Tahoma’s offense looked those first two drives, that’s just how Kentwood looked the rest of the game.
Williams completed 29 of 51 passes for 310 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. But Kentwood’s defense held up after some first-quarter adjustments — despite the Conks racking up 208 yards in penalties.
“We are just trying to get better each week,” Bush said. “We are far from where we are going to be.”
TJ Cotterill: 253-597-8677
T – Caleb Brown 3 run (kick failed)
T – Austin Brown 7 pass from Amandre Williams (Jerrel Chapman pass from Williams)
K – Grant Stockman 45 pass from Brian Campbell (Andre Slyter kick)
K – Jawann Gault 46 interception return (Slyter kick)
K – Chavez Kalua-Fuimaono 7 run (Slyter kick)
T – Macen Granlund 23 field goal
K – Slyter 41 field goal.
K – Kalua-Fuimaono 10 run (Slyter kick)
K – Kalua-Fuimaono 13 run (Slyter kick)
T – Cole Peckham 17 pass from Williams (Granlund kick)
K – Slyter 26 field goal
K – Connor Benson 43 pass from Campbell (Slyter kick)
T – Aidan Harmon 30 pass from Williams (pass failed)
K – Kalua-Fuimaono 1 run (Slyter kick)
RUSHING – Tahoma: Caleb Brown 11-94, TD; Amandre Williams 5-19. Kentwood: Chavez Kalua-Fuimaono 34-238, 4 TDs; Brian Campbell 12-77.
PASSING – Tahoma: Amandre Williams 29-51-2-310, 3 TDs. Kentwood: Brian Campbell 9-16-0-191, 2 TDs.
RECEIVING — Josh Smith 4-98; Austin Brown 7-73, TD; Cole Peckham 7-52, TD; Aidan Harmon 4-49, TD; Dylan Stewart 5-28; Jerrel Chapman 2-11. Kentwood: Connor Benson 4-114, TD; Grant Stockman 1-45, TD; Isaiah Williams 2-9.