Kennedy Takes Charge In DPL

*Reposting some of my clips from life as a sports reporter as I find them. These are exactly as they appeared in print/online minus photos. 

Printed in the Rocky Mountain News – October 18, 1994

Overtime victory against East gives Commanders lead

By Tiffany Trott
Special to the News

Sixth-ranked Kennedy put itself in position to secure a No. 1 seed from the Denver Prep League, defeating Denver East 13-6 in overtime Friday afternoon at All City Stadium.

Kennedy held onto first place in the league standings with an 8-yard touchdown run in overtime by tailback Shayne Blakey. He led his team in rushing with 121 yards on 28 carries.

“We made a bunch of mistakes, but our defense took over and worked fr us,” Blakey said. “Our defense finally kicked in and did what we needed in overtime.”

The defensive play of both teams was outstanding throughout the contest.

“Their defense played tough, but we knew we had to keep him (East quarterback Brian Phelan) from passing,” middle linebacker Jesus Escobedo said. “We had to flush the quarterback out of the pocket and sack him every chance we got.”

Escobedo was a key player in overtime. He sacked Phelan twice for a total loss of 17 yards and prevented a “Hail Mary” pass on the Angels’ last down from materializing.

“We came in No. 1 in the state (in scoring defense) and we wanted to keep it that way,” Escobedo said.

East coach Larry Tarver said his team’s inexperience on offense made it difficult to move the ball against the stingy Kennedy defense, which has allowed only 28 points in six games (4.4 average).

“We have a real young team; I started (offensive lineman Brandon) Jackson and (running back Sam) Lyons, who are both freshmen,” Tarver said.

Tarver said the Commanders killed them with the option play.

“Blakey just ran over everybody and we couldn’t help out offensively, but we have got to learn to take it,” Tarver said.

Kennedy struck first after East’s Lyons fumbled the ball on the Commanders’ 20. The ball was recovered by linebacker Greg Gonzales, who ran the ball back to the Kennedy 34.

With the help of a 27-yard run by Blakey and a 17-yard pass from quarterback Franco Martinez to wide receiver Greg Sewell, Kennedy took the ball to the East 2. Halfback Steve Campos ran the ball in to put Kennedy up 6-0.

East got on the board with 3:15 left in the third period with a 9-yard pass from Phelan to split end Jason Craft. The extra point was blocked.

East’s short touchdown drive started after defensive end Willie Wortham sacked Martinez and linebacker Jamil McCowain recovered the ball and ran it back 58 yards, to the Kennedy 10.

East now has to fight to earn a spot in the playoffs.

“I told my team from the beginning it didn’t matter if we took one loss or two or three, we were going to make it to the playoffs,” Tarver said.

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