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Kenmore West Wins Fourth Straight Alumni Game Over East

Donte Robinson may be 18 years removed from Kenmore West High School but he showed his old friends from Kenmore East on Saturday that he can still get down the football field.

Robinson’s 70-yard touchdown reception was the game-breaker and the Blue Devils won the annual alumni game for a fourth straight season, rallying for a 20-12 victory over Kenmore East in front of a nice crowd at Crosby Field.

“The play was a fly and usually they play about 15 yards back,” said Robinson, who beat Kenmore East graduate Robert Macklin for the game-winning score. “I kind of gave him the read of a slant and I saw him bite for it and then I just took off. He called me ‘fat’ earlier in the game so I had to turn on the boosters for him. He just stopped; he gave up.

“He’s a good friend of mine; he’s a good kid,” Robinson added with a laugh. “This is all just for fun.”

Macklin, a 2006 East graduate, was all over the field on both sides of the ball and had a touchdown catch of his own for the Bulldogs. He thought he had the decisive play figured out but …

“Most of the game they kept throwing the screen, throwing the screen, throwing the screen,” he said. “I bite on that screen and I saw him go by and thought, ‘Oh, man.'” It was a good play, I’ll give him credit. Looking forward to next year to playing them again; hopefully we can win next year.”

The play headlined a big fourth quarter for the Blue Devils, who were held off the scoreboard in the first three periods. Shawn Mangold (Class of 1996) threw a pair of TDs and a two-point conversion and James Mallory (2005) added a rushing score for Kenmore West, which scored 20 straight points in the fourth to seize command.

“We just stayed together and stayed focused,” Mallory said. “We knew we had a lot of talent out there. We just played hard and we knew everything would take care of itself.”

East had the best chance to reach the end zone in the first half, driving inside the 5-yard line midway through the second quarter. But West held strong on defense and a fourth-down run was stuffed by Nicolas Coniglio (2002) and others. West marched right down the field, led by a 20-yard passing play from Mangold to Kirby, but Erin Mancuso (2007) killed the drive with an interception at the 15.

Kenny Lam (2007) finally broke the scoring when he gave East a 6-0 lead with a 10-yard touchdown run. But the Blue Devils immediately responded, marching down the field and tying the game on Mallory’s 4-yard TD scamper.

Kenny Lam 10-yard TD run and Kenmore East takes a 6-0 lead over Kenmore West with 1:42 left in Q3 — Mike Pidanick (@mkpidanick) June 23, 2018

James Mallory 4-yard TD run on the first play of the fourth quarter ties the game at 6-6. — Mike Pidanick (@mkpidanick) June 23, 2018

East bounced back and reached the West 25 but fumbled the ball, which was recovered by 67-year-old West guard Tom Rastelli (Class of 1969). Two plays later, Mangold and Robinson connected to put West ahead to stay. After the Bulldogs lost another fumble, Mangold hit Kevin Kirby (1997) for a 7-yard TD and Shawn Dotzler (1999) for the two-pointer.

East quarterback Nick Queeno (2004) tossed a 4-yard TD pass to Macklin late in the game but Mallory and the Blue Devils ran out the clock and remained undefeated in the alumni rivalry.

“We love the rivalry,” Robinson said. “We love to talk smack here and there. The score doesn’t matter, we just come out to have fun.”

No matter the sport and no matter the rivalry, Kenmore West-Kenmore East is always going to be a heated rivalry. And even as the high school years drift further and further away, as soon as the whistle blows, the desire to win that rivalry never ends.

“We’re all friends,” Macklin said. “There’s a lot of love. We’re all having fun but when you’re out there, the competition doesn’t die.”

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