It took until the fourth quarter, but once the Kentwood Conquerors’ offense got rolling it was hard to stop.
Trailing by 11 points to begin the fourth quarter, Kentwood running back Chavez Kalua-Fuimaono bowled through the Jaguars’ defense to carry the Conquerors to a 42-32 victory.
“Chavez was a real man out there today,” Kentwood coach Michael Bush said.
“He was running real good, and I decided we needed to keep feeding him the ball.”
The Conks did feed him as Kalua-Fuimaono finished with game-highs in rushing yards (194) and touchdowns (four).
Kalua-Fuimaono rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone, including the game-deciding 31-yard bulldozing run to put Kentwood (1-1) up 42-32 with 1 minute and 51 seconds remaining in the game.
“Second half, I was feeling good as we needed to get rolling,” Kalua-Fuimaono said. “It just so happened off of one run it worked.”
Emerald Ridge (0-2) had the chance to retake the lead after Kentwood quarterback Brian Campbell found receiver Connor Benson for a 35-yard touchdown strike.
The score gave Kentwood its second lead of the fourth quarter at 35-32.
The Jaguars offense showed some life in the fourth with just under three minutes to play when junior quarterback Logan Skoda (22-for-31, 247 yards, 2 rushing touchdowns) led Emerald Ridge to midfield.
On fourth down and 3 yards to go, Skoda’s favorite target Andrew Boston (eight catches for 88 yards) slipped past the secondary on a wide open seam route.
Skoda floated a pass directly into Boston’s chest, but the 6-foot-3 receiver dropped the ball with only open field in front of him.
“That was the play right there,” Bush said. “Boston’s a good player — 9 times out of 10 he makes that catch. I feel for him.”
“You’re going to drop passes sometimes,” said Boston who showed his obvious frustration after the drop. “It just happened to be the biggest catch I dropped. All I can do is catch all them the next time.”
After the dropped pass, Kalua-Fuimaono broke off his game deciding run.