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JFK finds home away from home in victory

LIBERTY — Because of a scheduling conflict at Mollenkopf Stadium, John F. Kennedy was forced to move its home game against Valley Christian to Leopard Stadium in Liberty.

Kennedy appeared to feel right at home Friday, soaring over Valley Christian, 42-6, in what was a battle of the Eagles.

Kennedy’s offense soared throughout the night, amassing 411 total yards.

Valley Christian’s wings were clipped by the Kennedy defense. VC was able to muster just 131 yards of total offense.

“I think we came into this game a lot more focused and with a lot more intensity than we did last week,” Kennedy coach Jeff Bayuk said. “It helped that we got up early on (Valley Christian). The early scores gave our guys some confidence and momentum.

“They always say that teams show a great deal of improvement from Week 1 to Week 2. We definitely showed a lot of positives in this game.”

Kennedy scored in all five of its first half possessions to build a 35-0 halftime lead. JFK owned a 270-30 advantage in total yardage at the break.

JFK wasted no time taking control of the game. On its first possession, Kennedy marched 61 yards on seven plays, capped by a Jesse Likens 4-yard run.

On its next possession, Kennedy again needed just seven plays to take a 14-0 lead. Senior quarterback Christian Marantis hooked up with Jordan Edmondson for a 22-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second quarter.

Valley Christian turned the ball over on its third possession, and the rout was on. This time, Kennedy needed just two plays to add to its lead. Cameron Hollobaugh hauled in a 39-yard pass from Marantis for Kennedy’s third score of the night.

Marantis completed 5 of 9 passes for 133 yards. Junior Jesse Likens led all rushers with 104 yards on eight carries. Likens scored on runs of four and 18 yards.

“Christian (Marantis) was really focused, he did a good job with the zone reads and he was able to find the open receivers,” Bayuk said. “Jesse (Likens) has elite speed, he helps us on the perimeter and inside. Jordan (Edmondson) had a really nice game; he made some big plays at key moments.”

Bayuk also praised the efforts of his offensive line.

“Michael Gumino was placed in as a guard because of an injury and he stepped up bigtime,” Bayuk said. “Will Toth was forced to move from guard to center, and he didn’t miss a beat.”

Valley Christian’s lone score came at the midway point of the fourth quarter when Tyrone Lindsey ran in from 44 yards out.

Lindsey completed3 of 11 passes for 13 yards. He also rushed for a team-high 47 yards.

Marantis said he wasn’t surprised by his team’s play.

“After our very close win over Champion, we had a really strong week of practice,” Marantis said. “We knew we were going to have to play better tonight to come out with a win. This was a great team win because so many players contributed.”

Kennedy will look to remain undefeated next Friday when it hosts Girard. Valley Christian will seek its first win of the season at home against Lisbon.

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