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High School Sports Blog

The latest news and analysis on high-school sports around the Seattle area

September 11, 2009 at 11:33 PM

Auburn, Kentwood both impress

After watching Auburn blow out Federal Way last week, jumping up 35-7 in the first half, I had one thought when the fourth-ranked Trojans took an early 14-0 lead over Kentwood tonight: Here we go again.

But it wound up being an exciting game and I came away very impressed with the Conquerors. They actually led 28-14 in the third quarter before Auburn stormed back for the 35-28 victory to improve to 2-0 in SPSL 4A North Division play.

It was the first loss of the season for Kentwood, which opened with a wild, nonleague victory over Central Kitsap last week. I think the Conquerors are going to win a lot of games this season, but it doesn’t get much easier for them next week as they face 2-0 Tahoma.

Kentwood coach Rex Norris is employing a two-quarterback system and it seems to be working. One of those QBs, senior Tristan Askew, is a real speed-burner. The other, junior Shane Green, has a nice arm. it will be interesting to see how that situation gets sorted out.

But Auburn’s three-pronged rushing attack of Alphonse Wade, Austin Embody and Chris Young — they call themselves the three-headed monster — is impressive. Wade, the quickest, rushed for 213 yards tonight on just 13 carries. Embody cracked the 100-yard mark and Young — best known for his big hits (and he had a couple tonight) that are taking him to the UW — had 94.

The Trojans killed themselves with penatlies tonight — 136 yards, including three personal fouls and an unsportsmanlike conduct call — and turned the ball over three times, but pulled it together down the stretch.

By the way, I was anxious to see Kentwood basketball star Joshua Smith make his high-school football debut tonight. It was easy to spot him on the field — he’s listed at 6-10, 280 — and he’s wearing No. 88. He spent most of the game on the sidelines, though. I’d say he was in for about a half-dozen plays, mostly on the offensive line. He played on the D-line a little, too, and I think he got an assist on a tackle.

Smith nearly broke through to block Auburn’s final PAT, but not quite. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a few of those this season, though.

Kentwood coach Rex Norris said he plans to bring Smith along slowly, since he hasn’t played football since middle school. He had to sit out the Central Kitsap game because he didn’t have enough practices.

If you were at the game, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on any or all of the above. How good is Auburn? Is Kentwood right there, too? What about Smith, will he have an impact this season and is it worth the injury risk?

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