Expectations are high for the Kentwood High football team this season.
A convincing 31-7 win in Auburn’s backyard raised those expectations even higher.
The Conquerors were handed a tough test with their opening game of the season being on the road at Auburn Memorial Stadium. With a solid group of returners, including three-year starting quarterback Dane Manio, Kentwood was projected to find themselves in contention for an SPSL North title by the end of the season.
Those projections might need some tweaking after it took Kentwood only seven minutes to score three touchdowns and put Auburn away.
“It was really unexpected, especially here at Auburn,” said Kentwood coach Rex Norris. “We just had some things really go our way early in the game.”
By early, he meant very early.
Kentwood needed one play to break the game open. Manio found a wide open Terrence Grady 39 yards down the field for the touchdown on the Conquerors first offensive play of the season.
That one-touchdown lead turned into an insurmountable Auburn deficit a few minutes later. Kentwood started in Auburn territory its first two drives after big punt returns from Jackson Huerta and it forced a Trojans fumble on the kickoff following Dom Lindstrom’s 8-yard rushing touchdown.