The seventh-ranked Conquerors forced six turnovers and kept rival Kentridge out of the end zone until the final six minutes.
KENT — They won’t always wow you with their offense. But watch out for that defense.
The seventh-ranked Kentwood Conquerors forced six turnovers and kept rival Kentridge out of the end zone until the final six minutes en route to a 38-6 victory Friday night at French Field.
They lead the South Puget Sound League in take-aways (plus-15) and total defense (giving up less than 200 yards per game). And that matters nearly as much to them as their 5-0 record.
“We take pride in that,” said linebacker Ryan Dozier, the quarterback of that defense who is enjoying what coach Rex Norris calls an all-league season.
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The same can be said of Jackson Huerta, who contributed in all phases of the game. He caught a touchdown pass, scored on a 65-yard punt return and intercepted two passes, giving him five this season. At 5 feet 10 and 185 pounds, he epitomizes the Conquerors’ defensive creed.
“Even if we’re small, we’re going to fly around and be the nastiest defense around,” Huerta said.
After a scoreless first quarter, Kentwood used a pair of fourth-down stops and a forced fumble inside the Kentridge 10 to help open up a 28-0 lead.
The Conquerors stopped the first fourth-down try near midfield and needed just three plays to get into the end zone as Dane Manio hit Huerta in stride for a 34-yard touchdown.
Then with the Chargers (2-3 overall, 2-2 SPSL North) backed inside their 15, Kyle Capperauld sacked McGuire, forcing a fumble, and Gerard Jaena recovered at the 8. Dominic Lindstrom scored from there, and just that quick it was 14-0.
Kentridge answered with a promising drive, taking the ball to the Kentwood 23. But on fourth-and-one, Dozier stuffed Jimmie Davis, who rushed for most of his 119 yards in the second half, including a 50-yard burst.
Manio and Huerta then hooked up on a 45-yard pass, and Manio capped the drive with a 1-yard keeper with 2:33 left in the half.
Manio wound up completing 7 of 10 passes for 122 yards and two TDs. Chance Kalua-Fuimaono added 100 yards on 16 carries for the Conquerors.