CONWAY — Judging from the early results, the Kennett High football team’s switch to a “Wing-T” offense, has paid instant dividends. The Eagles went on the road for their Division II opener at Hanover on Friday night and easily topped the Marauders 35-0 behind five rushing touchdowns and a ground attack that racked up more than 200 yards of offense.
The “Wing-T” features a classic offensive line set up, with two guards, two tackles, a center and the quarterback behind center. The linemen played great, winning the battle at the line of scrimmage, while KHS unveiled a running attack that featured Dom Jones, Kyle Perry, Evan Dascoulais and freshman Evan Koroski — none of whom the Marauders had an answer for.
“The boys focused on what they needed to do,” said Vaughn Beckwith, Eagles’ heads coach, who pointed out that Hanover has historically been a tough place for opponents to visit. “The offensive line (Bobby Graustein, Braden Santuccio, Ethan ‘Truck’ Baillargeon, Cody Eastman and Heath Woodward) held their blocks and did a really nice job of blocking upfield.”
Kennett took the lead inside of five minutes with Jones opening his 2019 TD account from close range behind a key block by Atticus “House” Fayle.
Braeden Bailey, who went a perfect 5-5 on extra points and provided booming long kickoffs all night, added the point after to put the boys from Conway in front 7-0.
Hanover’s best drive on the night came on its second possession, which started at the Kennett 44-yard. The Eagles had been lucky not give up a safety but punter Malik Memia made a great play on a high snap and somehow eluded the Marauder rush to get a kick away. Hanover ran the ball eight times to get to the KHS 13, where its faced fourth-and-three. The Hanover quarterback tried to pick up the first down but a flock of Eagles bottled him up a yard shy of the first down with 8:18 left in the first half.
The Eagles then went 90 yards on 12 plays to the Land of Six. Perry had a run for 5 yards; Dascoulias bulled his way for 5 yards; a holding penalty pushed Kennett back 10 yards, but Perry broke off a 21-yard run carrying two Marauders the final three yards; Jones had a 20-yard run into Hanover territory to the 46; Jones rushed for another yard; Dascoulias rushed 5 yards; Jones caught a 7-yard pass from Parker Coleman (Kennett attempted just two passes all night); Dascoulias ran for 2 yards; Koroski reeled off runs of 9 and 5 yards; Hanover got whistled for 12 players on the field giving KHS a first down on the 13; Jones darted right all the way to the 1; and Coleman snuck the final yard with an escort from his center, Baillargeon.
KHS went on top 14-0 with 1:40 left in the half.
The Eagles put the game away with three touchdowns in the third quarter.
Justin Olson electrified the crowd with a fantastic 76-yard kickoff return to the Hanover 6-yard line. Perry had a carry for 5 yards, and Coleman went the final yard for his second TD with 11:02 left in the quarter.
“Justin flies a bit under the radar,” Beckwith said. “He does a lot of things to help us.”
Hanover went three plays and was forced to punt with Graustein partially blocking the kick to put the Kennett offense back in business on the Marauders’ 43-yard line. Perry broke off a 25-yard run around the left end behind a crushing block by Jones, who went for 16 yards on the next play around the right end. Two plays later, Perry found the end zone from 2 yards out. Bailey made it 28-0 with 6:03 to play in the period.
“We looked to get to the edge as much as could because that’s where we were having success,” Beckwith said. “If it’s not broken, why try to fix it?”
The Eagles made it 35-0 with 1:15 left in the quarter when Perry scored on a 10-yard run to cap a seven-play, 40-yard drive.
“This was a good team win,” Beckwith said. “These guys were so excited afterward; it had been three years since we beat Hanover.”
Kennett is scheduled to play its home-opener at Gary Millen Stadium against Pembroke (0-1) this Friday at 7 p.m.
Elsewhere in Division II, Plymouth had its 27-game win streak snapped at Bow on Saturday with the Falcons winning 8-7. The Bobcats entered Saturday having beaten Bow each of their five previous games but the Falcons ended that run with a fourth-quarter touchdown followed by a successful two-point conversion pass play.
Other results from Week I in the North Division: Gilford-Belmont won 40-0 at Pembroke on Saturday; John Stark won 20-12 at Merrimack Valley on Friday, and ConVal topped Kingswood 21-17 at home on Friday.
In the South Division, Alvirne beat Pelham 15-0 at home on Friday; Milford topped Hollis-Brookline 35-21 at home on Friday; Manchester West won 23-7 at Sanborn on Saturday, and Souhegan won 34-25 at St. Thomas on Saturday.
This week’s schedule
Friday: Bow at Kingswood, 7 p.m.; Bow at Kingswood, 7 p.m.; ConVal at Souhegan, 7 p.m.; Milford at Manchester West, 7 p.m.; and Sanborn at Pelham, 7 p.m.
Saturday: Merrimack Valley at Gilford-Belmont, 1:30 p.m.; Plymouth at John Stark, 2 p.m.; Hanover at Hollis-Brookline, 2 p.m.; and Alvirne at St. Thomas, 2 p.m.