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Blue Devils Don’t Play ‘Small’ in Win Over East

The 56th meeting between the Kenmore West Blue Devils and the Kenmore East Bulldogs took place at a unique location, Clint H. Small Stadium. The Blue Devils beat the Bulldogs 41-6 in the first ever meeting between the two rivals to take place outside of Ken-Ton.

District officials had hoped the renovations at Sparky Adams Field, the home of the Bulldogs, would be done in time for the rivalry game, but the construction was not quite all done, so the game had to be played at Small Stadium, which had been the Bulldogs’ home away from home for most of the season.

The game started off with a bang as Ken-East junior Derek Simons came up with a big hit on the opening kickoff. The Bulldogs got a little momentum but it didn’t last for long as the Blue Devils took control of the game.

Jamir Lynch found fellow senior Cory Ratka for 48 yards to open the scoring. Then the flood gates opened for Erriono Giardina scoring four touchdowns in a row. Before the half came to an end Ken-West added another score as Jahlel St. John made a catch and tossed the ball to lineman Tyler White on the hook and ladder play.

“The offense gelling, the defense played very well, and special teams brought it to the table” said Kenmore West Head Coach John Haynes, “It was a total team effort.”

Giardina ended the game with 247 yards on the ground for Ken West.

The Ken-East defense played well in the second half, keeping the Blue Devils out of the end zone.

The only score for the Bulldogs came off a 48 yard pass from QB Kahlil O’Neil to Ja’Micheal Henderson with 6 mins left in the game.

Kenmore East Head Coach Pat Veltri saw his team get better Saturday, but the Bulldogs are still far off from where they need to be, saying after the game “There was improvement, but we still have a long way to go”.

Not only did Derek Simons make the big hit to start the game, but according to Veltri, the starting linebacker and offensive lineman had a tremendous game all-around. “Simons probably played his best game overall for us as a Bulldog”, said Veltri.

After Saturday’s win, the Blue Devils can begin to prepare for the playoffs. Kenmore West opens up the playoffs by going to Lancaster to take on the Legends on Friday night, a team the Blue Devils have knocked out of the playoffs in each of the last two years.

“We have to be the most focused (this week) then we’ve been all season” said Giardina, “We’re on a win streak and (Lancaster) is undefeated, but all of that goes out the window.”

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