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Cypress grinds out victory over Kennedy
ANAHEIM – After shaking hands with the Kennedy coaching staff following Friday night's contest at Western High, Cypress coach Bob Burt walked back to the home sideline with his fists pumping in utter excitement.
While his demeanor would have you believe his team had just played a flawless game of football, the reality was quite different.
The Centurions did struggle. They accumulated over 85 yards of penalties, turned the ball over, and never got anything going offensively.
What Cypress did do, however, was just enough to earn a 17-9 victory over Kennedy in an Empire League game, and that's all that mattered to the veteran coach.
Behind quarterback Nick Buras' 232 yards of total offense, the Centurions overcame a sloppy performance.
“We knew that was the kind of game it was going to be,” Burt explained. “We made some mistakes that helped them – we need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot – but (Kennedy) played hard. It was a good football game.”
Cypress (4-1, 1-0) came out flat offensively, gaining only two first downs over its first two drives, while struggling to get into a rhythm. The Centurions defense, however, produced a turnover with the Fighting Irish (3-3, 1-1) driving in its red zone late in the first quarter, seemingly giving the offense new life.
Wide receiver Quinten Pounds broke a 72-yard run out of the Wildcat formation two plays after the fumble, but the scoring play was called back because of a holding call. But Pounds threw a 20-yard score to Brennan Corbin as Cypress took a 7-0 lead 15 seconds into the second quarter.
On Kennedy's ensuing drive, quarterback Justin Minor fumbled the ball away, giving the Centurions the ball inside their own territory.
While penalties prolonged the drive, Cypress drove 46 yards in 15 plays to extend its lead to 14-0. Buras found Corbin in the end zone for a 6-yard strike, which gave the Centurions a two-touchdown lead at halftime.
Cypress added a field goal in the fourth quarter.
Kennedy's offense proved to be one-dimensional in the second half, and its inability to pass the ball prevented any chance at a comeback.
While T.J. Williams did rush for 94 yards on 17 carries, Fighting Irish quarterbacks collectively went 0 for 6.
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