Kennedy moved up to 2-1 with a 40-0 shutout in Washburn | Bloomington

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Zesch runs for two, throws for a third touchdown

After limiting St. Paul Highland Park to just seven points the week before, Kennedy’s defense shut out Minneapolis Washburn in a 40-0 victory Sept. 17 in Minneapolis.

Kennedy coach Kedrick Williams, who is now in his third season as head coach, said the players “are starting to understand what we do and how we do it. We have a lot of young guys, but they have good days during the week and when we have several good training days it shows in the games.






Kennedy improved to 2-1 over the season with back-to-back wins over Highland Park and then Washburn ahead of the highly anticipated September 25 game against Richfield at Bloomington Stadium. Kick-off is at noon.



Kick-off was an hour earlier than the typical 7pm start time, but that didn’t seem to bother the Eagles (2-1) as quarterback Zach Zesch registered four touchdowns.

Zesch, a senior captain, found Rayzjon Walker on a 15-yard touchdown pass for the opener before adding rushing scores of 31, 11 and 1 yard. Running back Saide Alassani scored twice on 10- and 11-yard carries and ran 18 times for 107 yards to return to a prime position on offense.

“We wanted Saide to be the main running back this week,” said Williams, highlighting the effort from linemen to open up running options for him. “Jeff Keller is a hell of a leader for us and as a left tackle took care of us tonight, as did second student Zach Vanvlack who came up center for us.”






Rayzjohn walker

Kennedy wide receiver Rayzjon Walker made two catches, including a touchdown against Washburn to help the Eagles sign a 40-0 shutout on September 17.



Zesch threw for 77 yards and ran for 36 yards with three touchdowns.

Williams credited new offensive coordinator Nick Larson with developing a good game plan to mix up the games in order to prevent the Millers’ defense from anticipating what was to come.






Defense

Kennedy’s defense frustrated Washburn’s offense the same way it did with Highland Park the week before. Both games ended in victories for the Eagles.



“The defense has been focused on aggressive play and access to the ball,” Williams said of the unit’s success after the first shutout as head coach for the Eagles. It was the first shutout since at least 2011. It highlighted the play of linemen Chris Martin and Le’Anthony Wright-Ponder, as well as defensive back Marques Monroe and linebacker Corey Bartholomew. Monroe led the team with nine tackles and one interception, Martin had three tackles and a sack, and Bartholomew had five tackles. Wright-Ponder finished with four tackles. Luke Dosan also returned to action after recovering from an ankle injury.






Linemen push

Kennedy junior linemen David Harris, left and senior Jose Contreras Sanchez move Mauirico Vasquez to Highland Park during the first quarter.



Williams appreciated the defensive game plan coordinator Jay Robinson came up with for mixing up the cover patterns for the offense to keep guessing.

Next up is a meeting with rival Richfield at Bloomington Stadium with a noon kickoff on Saturday, September 25.

Follow Jason Olson on Twitter at @ Jason0lson.

Copyright © 2020 at Sun Newspapers / APG Media of East Central Minnesota. Digital distribution of this content without prior written consent is a violation of Federal law and may be subject to legal action.


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