RM football beats Kennedy 40-12


Evan Scheinberg

Richard Montgomery football showed dominance on both sides of the field en route to a blowout win over the Kennedy Cavaliers at their home opener with a score of 40-12.

Before the game even started, the Rocket student section was hyped up, belting out cheers for the players as they took the field after breaking through the home opener sign. After a great national anthem performance by the marching band, both the Rockets and the Cavaliers took the field. The Rockets’ Aaron Le fielded the short kick, setting up the Rockets in great starting field position for their first drive of the game.

The Rockets started the game off the same way they did last game as they utilized the run game to push them up the field. After a big gain from Tylen Hebron on the ground, the Rockets could not gain the first down and found themselves facing a fourth down near midfield. Coach Klotz elected to go for it, and the offense stayed on the field. Junior quarterback Spencer Silverstein heaved up a long pass to fellow junior Hunter Arbeeny, who brought it to the end zone for the first score of the game, and his first career touchdown.

Offense wasn’t the only side of the ball that the Rockets dominated on, however. Led by senior linebacker Zavier Ledyard, RM was able to shut down any offensive attempt on the ground and the air, containing Kennedy with huge hits on the opposing players. They forced a four-and-out, giving them the ball back with plenty of time left in the quarter.

On the ensuing possession, the Rockets continued to use the passing game. Silverstein hit fellow junior Daryn Alexander twice in a row on short passes that Alexander ran and made into first downs. After a Kennedy timeout, RM took the field once again, and Silverstein threw to senior tight end Zaire Mitchell-Paden for a long touchdown to extend the Rockets’ lead. After a failed two-point conversion attempt, the Rockets led 12-0 with just under six minutes to go in the first quarter.

The kickoff after this touchdown was fielded and then fumbled by the Cavaliers, and was finally recovered by the Rockets deep in Cavalier territory. Soon, after a few short rush gains by senior Kris Ricks, the Rockets found themselves once again close to score. Silverstein threw a short screen to senior Zion Ledyard, who shaked and juked his defender nearly out of his shoes, prancing into the endzone after. The PAT was good, giving the Rockets a 19-0 lead.

Photo by Gabi Scott and Tanya Syarnubi
Photo by Gabi Scott and Tanya Syarnubi

The defense notched another fourth-and-out, this time led by sophomore Abubakar Audu Jr. who sacked the quarterback on third down. On second down, senior Tylen Hebron took the ball to the house on a 58-yard run for his first touchdown of the game and fourth of the season. After the successful PAT, RM led 27-0 with 40 seconds to go. At the end of the first quarter of play, the Rockets still led 27-0.

The Rockets continued to dominate at the beginning of the second quarter. Right out of the gates, Silverstein threw to Mitchell-Paden again, this time for a 77-yard touchdown to extend the lead even further out of the Cavaliers’ reach. The Rockets led after this by a score of 33-0 with 11:21 left to play in the half. On the defensive side, junior captain Adam Tounkara came up with a huge sack for a loss of seven yards, pinning Kennedy deep in their own territory.

After a punt fielded by Alexander, the Rockets took over on offense again beginning with an out-of-the-pocket completion to sophomore Todd Thoman. Silverstein scrambled for a nice pick-up after maneuvering his way around the Cavalier secondary. With 6:20 left in the half, Tylen Hebron took another carry to the end zone, this time running 47 yards to score. This put the Rockets up by a whopping 40 point shut-out.

However, a long, time-consuming possession by Kennedy soon followed, forcing the Rockets to start their drive with 1:30 to play. After a big pick up on the ground by Kris Ricks, Silverstein lobbed it up to Alexander, who brought it down for a 40 yard gain. Silverstein ran it into the end zone on a sneak, but it was called back for a penalty. The half ended on this note, with the Rockets lead by a score of 40-0.

After a dizzy bat relay race organized by the SGA and an outstanding poms performance, both teams took the field to begin the second half. On the kickoff, senior Aaron Le delivered a monster hit on the Cavalier kick returner. Coach Klotz elected to take out the starters, putting Daryn Alexander at quarterback. The Rockets spent most of the quarter handing the ball off to backup running back Enrique Zuniga, picking up several first downs before eventually turning the ball over on downs. Neither team was able to score during the third quarter, so the score remained at 40-0 heading into the final period of play.

The final quarter of play opened up with a 67-yard catch and run for a touchdown by the Cavaliers. The two-point-conversion attempt was no good, but the shutout had ended, as the lead was cut down to 34 points. The ensuing possession for RM was a confusing one. A slew of miscommunications between the offensive line and the coaching staff led to four consecutive penalties, pinning the Rockets all the way back on second down with 30 yards to go in order to convert. The Rockets were unable to convert, giving the ball to the Cavaliers deep in Rocket territory.

On a carry by Kennedy, an RM defender was shoved in the back and hard onto the ground by an opposing player. The RM coaching staff went livid with the no-call by the refs, as it clearly put one of their players in legitimate danger of injury. Kennedy would score on the very next play, and once again after a failed two-point conversion, the Rockets led by a score of 40-12. RM chose to chew clock on the ensuing possession, running it down all the way to the end of the game. When the game clock hit zero, the Rockets had polished off their second win of the season in blowout fashion, with a final score of 40-12 over the Kennedy Cavaliers.

Featured photo by Gabi Scott and Tanya Syarnubi.