CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (CLARKSVILLENOW) – Kenwood football hosted Northwest Friday, as the Knights looked to capture their first win of the 2020 campaign.
The Vikings entered the contest licking their wounds after losing their starting quarterback Ryan Silverstrim for the season with a broken collarbone a week ago against Montgomery Central.
Things wouldn’t get much better for Northwest, as Kenwood’s offense found its groove en route to a 61-14 victory.
“I’m happy for the kids,” said Kenwood football coach Les Greer. “They earned it through their hard work this week in practice. I challenged them just to come out and compete. Nobody knows whats going to happen week to week, but you show up and you work hard. The execution was better tonight and our energy level was high.”
Knights junior quarterback Jaylen Washington finished the game with four total touchdowns, including three through the air and one on the ground.
Greer heaped praise on Washington for the maturation he has begun to show as an upperclassman.
“He works extremely hard,” Greer said. “He sets the tone for us on offense and he’s a leader in every sense. He takes coaching, corrects mistakes, his reads are really good and he puts the ball where he’s supposed to put it. He’s only going to get better because he works his tail off.”
Corben Howard continued his stellar play of late by torching the Viking defense. The junior wide receiver had two touchdown grabs in the second quarter alone to help the Knights take a commanding 34-14 halftime lead.
“It was a big win for us and we definitely needed it, but we still have to keep on working,” Howard said. “Henry County is coming up next and we have to be ready to play.”
The Washington to Howard connection has become a force to be reckoned with for opposing defenses, as the chemistry between the two Knights continues to flourish.
“We got together in the offseason and Jaylen started teaching me more about how he throws the ball,” Howard said. “I showed him how fast I am and we’ve just bonded. He knows exactly when I’m breaking my route down. He’s a great quarterback and I love that man.”
Zach Klenk got the start for the Vikings at quarterback before going down with an injury late in the first half. The senior ripped off multiple large gains on the ground and a was a bright spot offensively for Northwest.
A personal foul penalty on Kenwood set up the Vikings first score of the game, as Klenk put Northwest out in front 7-0 on a one-yard touchdown run.
The Knights later answered after a couple of long Washington pass plays before Tishun Miles found paydirt to tie the game at 7-7.
The talented Kenwood running back had his way with the Viking defense early on, finishing with two touchdowns on the ground and a successful two-point conversion all in the first half.
“He’s special,” Greer said. “Him (Miles) and Brandon Dickenson are our seniors and really set the tone for our work ethic in the program. That’s really what we’re trying to instill in the weight room and in practice. He does a great job of doing that. He’s tough, he’s physical and he’s a leader on both sides of the ball.”
With 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter, TQ McCullen put the Knights out in front 14-7 with a nine-yard rushing touchdown.
Northwest answered back on their very next possession, as Kison Rhodes punched it in for six points. After the made extra point, the score was once again knotted at 14-all.
To the chagrin of many Viking fans, the Knights poured it on from there, rattling off 47 unanswered points to close out the contest.
Anthony Smith had a receiving touchdown while Jeremy Smith and Isaiah Johnson each had rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter for Kenwood.
“We’re gelling great right now,” Washington said. “Nobody has really expected us to perform the way that we have. For us to come out and score 61 is even a bit shocking to me. The fact we did this in just the third game of the season shows what we’re capable of. Imagine what we can do later in the year.”
Northwest (1-2, 1-1) will look to rebound next week in a home game against Summit at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25.
Kenwood (1-2, 1-1) will play host to Region 7-5A foe Henry County at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25.
“I want to see us show up to work ready to go on Monday,” Greer said. “Have a great week of practice, see how much better we can get and let the results take care of themselves.”