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Bobcat football rolls over Kingswood in home opener


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by Joshua Spaulding
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Sports Editor - Salmon Press Newspapers

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Kingswood's Andrew Keniston dives toward the end zone as Plymouth's Alex Ruff (bottom), Andrew Dobbie (42), Tyler Dekutowski (55) and Luke Diamond defend in action Saturday. (Photo by Joshua Spaulding) (click for larger version)
September 16, 2021
PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth and Kingswood football teams are in different places. The Bobcats are coming off a Division II title appearance while the Knights are working on building their program.

Each team was able to take things away from Plymouth's 35-6 win on Saturday afternoon, things they can use moving forward.

"It was a great day for football, we suited up our whole team today," said Plymouth coach Chris Sanborn. "We told the freshmen that if they beat Milford, we'd suit them up, then Milford cancelled because of the rain. So all the kids played (today)."

"We're a young team and we're trying to learn a whole lot about football in many different areas," said Kingswood coach Paul Landry. "We talk about character and who you are when facing adversity. At 35-0, it doesn't get any deeper than that for adversity."

The Bobcats scored four touchdowns in the first quarter to put the game out of the reach early. Kurtis Cross had a touchdown pass to Calvin Swanson, Swanson broke free for a 71-yard touchdown run, Dylan Welch ran in a short touchdown and Mason Lessard returned an interception for a touchdown, giving the Bobcats the 28-0 lead before the first quarter ended.

Plymouth didn't waste too much time getting another touchdown in the second quarter, as Joe Peters returned a Kingswood punt to the end zone for the 35-0 lead less than two minutes into the second quarter.

Aiden Brierley had a nice kick return for the Knights and Andrew Keniston was able to run for a first down, but the Plymouth defense stepped up on fourth and two and stopped Riley Saxby short of the first down.

The Bobcats then proceeded to run out the rest of the first half clock with Lessard and Andrew Dobbie running the ball and Parker Eastman connecting with Gianni Ciotti for an 11-yard gain. Kingswood's Konner Hurlbert, Robbie Hotchkiss, William Dixon and Keniston had solid defensive plays to help slow the drive and time ran out on the first half with Plymouth up 35-0.

Kingswood turned the ball over on downs on the first possession of the second half and the Knights were able to keep the Bobcats from moving the ball on their next drive and they punted away. Keniston, Matt Perkins and Saxby moved the ball up the field for the Knights and quarterback Garrett Burke also got a carry as the third quarter ended.

Keniston got consecutive carries to open the fourth quarter and Perkins broke free for 25 yards to get the ball to the five and from there, Keniston was able to dive into the end zone with 8:41 to go. Tyler Dekutowski blocked the extra point and the Knights were on the board with their first score of the year.

Perkins then came up with an interception on fourth and long for the Bobcats to give Kingswood the ball back. Perkins then broke free for another 25-yard run to get the ball inside the 20. The Knights got the ball to the five on carries by Keniston, Burke and Saxby. However, Logan Trusock was able to recover a fumble and time ran out on the Plymouth's 35-6 win.

"We're looking to have fun with our seniors," Landry said. "We know the struggles will be real, but we're trying to keep things going in the right direction and have fun.

"They displayed good attitudes and good behavior," the Knight coach added. "And it was nice to get one in."

"The meat of our schedule starts next week with Bow," said Sanborn, noting it will be an emotional game for the Falcons. The Falcons lost a player and his little brother in a car accident last week and Sanborn expressed his sympathy to the entire program.

"It will be an emotional day for them," the Bobcat coach said. "I feel so terrible with what they're going through. My heart goes out to the family, their school and the football program."

Plymouth will be at Bow on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 2 p.m. while Kingswood will be hosting Gilford-Belmont on Friday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m.

Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or josh@salmonpress.news.

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