Taylor, Michigan-The Kennedy Eagles search for their first win continues now after a 41-0 Friday night loss to the Wyandotte Roosevelt Bears. The Eagles are now 0-5 while the Bears improved to 5-0.
For a contest that was lopsided on paper, the Eagles were off to an impressive start. On their first defensive drive, the forced a fourth down and then Bears kicker Josh Castillo missed on the field goal attempt, keeping the game scoreless. Bad field position then victimized the Eagles as a punt by sophomore Hunter Meade went out of bounds and gave the Bears a very short field to work with, leading to their first touchdown. The Bears next touchdown also came after great field position for them.
“Field position is a huge part of the game,” Eagles head coach Steve Rusnak said. “We had a couple plays there that were actually ready to go and we just didn’t execute them. We had them there, had it dialed up. We just didn’t complete the catch on a couple of them which would have pulled out of that hole early and maybe would have switched some of that momentum a little bit because I felt we playing right with them early.”
Despite the loss, the Eagles didn’t exhibit the same frustration that’s plagued them the previous four weeks. Despite how things went on the field, the players, instead of voicing their frustrations with very colorful words, seemed to take things and stride.
The Eagles also had a new starting quarterback this week. Junior Tony Mohlman, who started the first four games has moved Newport, Michigan, down in Monroe County and will begin playing for the Carleton Airport High School team next week. That meant that senior Faizon Nundley became the starter. Despite the Eagles not scoring any points in this game, there were some positive takeaways from Nundley’s performance, as he managed to extend a few plays with his scrambling ability, aiding in his ability to find receivers and avoid pressure.
“Faizon did a remarkable job stepping up tonight,” Rusnak said. “He was pressed into action and after coming off a knee injury, which has pretty much hampered him up until this week, and he stepped right in.”
For those looking for an indication of the heart that this Eagles squad has, lets reference the 2012 Andover High School varsity squad. That school was going through a similar situation as that school was closing down to be merged with rival Lahser high to be merged into Bloomfield Hills High School. The Andover squad forfeited the remainder of the season after an 0-2 start as the team was no longer able to field a full roster. The 2017 Eagles have already surpassed that squad in terms of commitment as they now passed the mid-way point of the regular season.
“I think the motivation is (that) they are young, ” Rusnak said. “The majority of our guys are young, 14 guys playing on a varsity level. They’re young enough not to get discouraged and they’re just a little too young to really understand. So they’re at a good point to where I don’t feel they’re getting tainted by what’s going on, and they’re having fun.”
Next up for the Eagles is a road contest against Southgate Anderson next Friday at 7pm before the final homecoming game in school history, as they host Melvindale. Nundley, one of the few seniors on the squad, so this homecoming game will be extra special for him.
“Man, it’s the last time I have to show out not only for my family, but for my teammates,” Nundley said. “My teammates deserve a win and I’m going to try to come out strong and get this win.”