The coach might be new, but the Kentwood football freight train continues to roll right along.
A 28-7 victory Friday over city rival Kent-Meridian at French Field gave the Conquerors their fourth SPSL divisional title in a row — and second SPSL Northeast crown in back-to-back seasons.
And they keep adding to their career haul. Kentwood has now won 13 divisional titles, second only to Puyallup’s 15.
But it hasn’t been easy for the Conquerors — and Friday was another one of their typical close-call games, at least into the third quarter.
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Up 7-0, Kentwood got an 80-yard kickoff return from Connor Benson that immediately put them in the red zone.
It appeared the Conquerors would have to settle for a short Andre Slyter field goal, but a Kent-Meridian penalty gave them a first-and-goal at the Royals’ 2.
Quarterback Brian Campbell cashed in on a 3-yard scoring scamper to extend the Kentwood lead to 14-0 with 9:30 remaining in the third quarter.
After that, Campbell took over by leading the Kentwood offense on three touchdown-scoring drives in an eight-minute span — capped by his 62-yard strike to Benson with 1:25 to go in the third quarter.
It had to be sort of a bittersweet triumph for new Conquerors coach Mike Bush, who starred at wide receiver at Kent-Meridian before going over to Washington State University.
Rogers 24, at Spanaway Lake 0: Travis Tucker rushed for 119 yards on 19 carries, and the Rams blanked the Sentinels at Art Crate Field.
Kaiden Hammond connected with Cade Barrett on a pair of touchdown passes (14, 2) in the victory.
At Yelm 42, Bellarmine Prep 35 (OT): Daylon Matthews hit Kaleb Lunderville on a seam route for a 24-yard touchdown to open overtime, and the Tornados’ defense took it from there in posting a come-from-behind victory over the Lions.
Needing a touchdown to tie, the Lions ran four plays in overtime but were held. The final play was an incompletion on fourth-and-8.
Yelm tied the game with 4:23 to go in regulation on Matthews’ 43-yard scoring strike to Marcus Shivers.
Brandon Thompson finished with 124 rushing yards on 18 carries, and added 89 receiving yards for the Tornados.
At Timberline 38, Stadium 12: Jarryn Bush returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown as part of the Blazers’ 21-point second quarter.
Timberline’s Christien Barnes had five catches for 136 yards for Timberline.
Stadium’s Jamon Chambers had touchdown runs of 57 yards and 32 yards and finished with 17 carries for 125 yards in the loss.
At Peninsula 34, Auburn Mountainview 20: Kenny Easton scored three touchdowns — two coming in the second half as the Seahawks rallied to win at Roy Anderson Field.
After a turnover, Easton scored late in the third quarter to give the Seahawks a 27-20 lead — and sealed up a victory over the No. 7 Lions with his final 8-yard scoring scamper with 3:03 remaining.
Lincoln 21, at Central Kitsap 0: The No. 3 Abes finally broke a scoreless tie late in the third quarter by driving 87 yards on 10 plays, capped by Willie Hamilton’s touchdown pass to Marcus Wiley with 33 seconds to go, to finally get rolling to a victory at Silverdale Stadium.
Hamilton and Wiley hooked up for two scoring passes in the second half. Dionte Simon rushed for 159 yards on 18 carries and scored a touchdown.
At Wilson 41, Foss 0: Alex Motonaga threw for a touchdown, ran for two scores and returned an interception 73 yards for a touchdown as the Rams walloped the Falcons at Lincoln Bowl.
Malik Cok also returned an interception for a score as the Wilson defense dominated, limiting Foss to 80 total yards.
River Ridge 35, at Clover Park 0: Tre’Vonne Dorfner kept the eighth-ranked Hawks’ high-powered rushing attack rolling along with 190 yards on 20 carries, including a pair of touchdowns at Harry E. Lang Stadium in Lakewood.
Zach Carter set a single-game school record for River Ridge with 18 tackles.
Eatonville 42, at Tenino 41: One week after a disastrous interception, quarterback Jacob McCormick got to be the hero in keeping the Cruisers’ slim playoff hopes alive.
McCormick scored a touchdown on a 5-yard run with 25 seconds to go, then won it on a two-point conversion pass, lifting the Cruisers to a wild victory.
The Beavers (5-2, 3-2) still control their own destiny for a home playoff game out of the 1A Evergreen Conference. They play at Montesano (5-2, 4-1) next Friday.
But the contending pack for that third and final playoff spot from the league just got tighter. Elma (5-2, 3-2) and defending 1A EvCo champion Eatonville (3-4, 2-3) are not out of it.
Cascade Christian 49, Charles Wright 7: The Cougars jumped out to a 28-0 halftime lead and cruised from there after the Tarriers had scored a school record 76 points in a win the previous week over Vashon Island.
Cascade Christian (5-1, 1-0) has won four straight since its loss to Orting.