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CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – – The JFK Bears started their game off against fellow Class C North opponent, Akron, quickly and never looked back at all. Jeff Rashko’s 36-yard rushing touchdown was the beginning of 36 unanswered points put on by JFK in the Bears’ 36-6 win over the Akron Tigers on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s a combination of what we did in the offseason and what we’re doing now,” JFK’s senior running back Jeff Rashko said about the team’s success through two games. “We’re really connected, we just click and we feed off the energy we give each other.”

Rashko’s rush was one of three scores by the Bears in the 1st quarter. Following Rashko’s touchdown rush, junior quarterback James Bailey scored a 6-yard touchdown rush. Exactly four minutes after, Bailey found senior wide receiver Brandon Kohl wide open on the right sideline for a 36-yard touchdown pass.

“What we saw in scout, we thought we could execute what we wanted to,” JFK head coach Jeff Sabatino said about his team’s offensive outburst. “The kids executed. We said to our running backs, when you get your touches you better take advantage of them.”

JFK’s defense also got into the scoring category as Kyle Lighten intercepted a pass from Akron’s sophomore quarterback Timothy Longwell and returned it for a 5-yard touchdown to increase JFK’s lead to 30-0, still only in the 2nd quarter.

Following the pick six, Bailey found Kohl for a second time, this time for 26 yards. The second touchdown pass from Bailey to Kohl was the final scoring play for the Bears. JFK’s defense played a very solid game, limiting Akron in majority of the quarters, except in the final quarter when the Tigers’ star running back Jake Sarow found the end zone on a 3-yard touchdown to eliminate the shutout possibility.

Bailey continues to shine in his first Varsity season as he went 11-for-14 in his second career game, tossing for 130 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed six times for 86 yards and found pay dirt once. Rashko finished the game rushing for 42 yards on two touches. He added six tackles, with one sack, on defense as well. Brandon Kohl hauled in 5 receptions for 88 yards, scoring twice. Kohl also added an incredible 75-yard punt while on special teams.

Defensively, Josh Bremer led JFK in the tackles category with eight. Zach Carrick added five tackles for the Bears. Justin Bohrer and Lighten had the Bears’ interceptions.

“This week, we had quite a few injured players,” Akron head coach Andrew Clause said following his team’s loss. “Hopefully those kids heal up. We had a lot of players playing out of position this week. It’s tough to get everything installed in a couple of days.”

Akron, who have lost their first two games so far, is looking to get healthy for next week when the Tigers are due to battle Section V (Rochester) team Oakfield-Alabama/Elba in a non-league contest. Oakfeld-Alabama/Elba is currently 0-1 on the season and played Pembroke on Saturday evening, but the result was not available at the time this article was published.

JFK, who has won their first two games (both divisional games), is 2-0 overall. JFK hopes to continue their winning trend when the Bears will host non-league opponent, the Tonawanda Warriors, next Saturday at 1:30pm.

“When the schedule came out, it was pretty obvious what the schedule said to us: Eden and Akron,” Coach Sabatino said about his team’s success so far. “We knew Week 1 and Week 2 were going to be big. We preached it, we talked about it and the kids came together. We haven’t looked beyond this yet.”

The game next week will commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the 1986 Bears team that appeared at New Era Field (then Ralph Wilson Stadium). The 1986 team is still the last team to play a playoff game at the Bills’ stadium. The game will feature warm-up music from 1986, the PA announcer from that season will return to the booth and 1986 themed uniforms will be worn for the game.

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