Football stuns Royal Oak, will host Brother Rice in playoffs

Sophomore+Derrick+Phipps+%28No.+10%29+sprints+downfield+after+catching+a+pass+from+junior+Braylon+Silvas+in+a+football+game+against+Royal+Oak+Friday%2C+Oct.+25.
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Football stuns Royal Oak, will host Brother Rice in playoffs

Sophomore Derrick Phipps (No. 10) sprints downfield after catching a pass from junior Braylon Silvas in a football game against Royal Oak Friday, Oct. 25.

Sophomore Derrick Phipps (No. 10) sprints downfield after catching a pass from junior Braylon Silvas in a football game against Royal Oak Friday, Oct. 25.

IMAGE / Mackenzie Atkinson

Sophomore Derrick Phipps (No. 10) sprints downfield after catching a pass from junior Braylon Silvas in a football game against Royal Oak Friday, Oct. 25.

IMAGE / Mackenzie Atkinson

IMAGE / Mackenzie Atkinson

Sophomore Derrick Phipps (No. 10) sprints downfield after catching a pass from junior Braylon Silvas in a football game against Royal Oak Friday, Oct. 25.

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The football team manhandled Royal Oak at home Friday, Oct. 25, outpacing the Ravens 56-21.

The Hornets finish the regular season with a 7-2 record.

Making their first playoff appearance of the century, the Hornets will host Brother Rice High School Friday, Nov. 1.

Junior Conner Cooper said the team will use its run defense to halt the Warriors.

“By not letting teams run the ball all year,” Cooper said, “we have been able to shut teams’ run game down.”

Winning a playoff game starts with individual players stepping up and Cooper said he will step up even further against Brother Rice.

IMAGE / Mackenzie Atkinson
Junior Braylon Silvas drops back to launch the football to a receiver in a game against Royal Oak Friday, Oct. 25. The Hornets won 56-21.

“Personally, I know I have to step up my game,” Cooper said, “play harder and fly around and make plays that need to be made.”

The Hornets won’t allow the Warriors to catch them sleeping.

“As a team, we all know that Brother Rice is a good team so we’re not going to just take them lightly,” Cooper said. “We all know our jobs and know what it takes to compete at a high level like we have all year.”

A crazy first quarter highlighted the game against Royal Oak, which started as senior Amari Douglas recovered the Ravens’ sneaky onside opening kickoff.

Douglas and the team expected the Ravens to try this.

“When they started off with the onside kick, I was excited because it was something I was waiting for all week,” Douglas said, “so when I grabbed the ball I knew I took away their trick play and that the game was already ours.”

IMAGE / Mackenzie Atkinson
Seniors Ethan Livingston (No. 9) and Josh Truax (No. 55) bring down a Royal Oak ball carrier in a 56-21 victory over the Ravens Friday, Oct. 25.

Kearsley scored its opening drive with a 51-yard pass from junior Braylon Silvas to senior Ethan Livingston. The duo connected for the two-point conversion, putting the Hornets up 8-0.

The Hornets decided to attempt an onside kick of their own and sophomore Derrick Phipps grabbed the ball to give Kearsley another possession.

Sitting in prime field position, the Hornets scored again as Phipps leapt backward to catch a high pass. Livingston kicked a good point-after kick to put K-Town up 15-0.

While the Ravens prepared for a deep kick, Coach Kaleb Forr called for another onside kick. Phipps scooped up the ball again to give the Hornets another possession.

After three plays, junior Jace Chapman pulled in a 22-yard pass for his first touchdown of the night. After a successful point-after kick, the Hornets swarmed to a 22-0 lead.

Once again, the Hornets went for the onside recovery. Senior La’Ron Ruffin grabbed the ball for Kearsley.

It took one play for senior Jaylon Burchfield to run in a 65-yard touchdown. After the extra point, the Hornets led 29-0.

Royal Oak prepared for an onside recovery but Livingston booted the ball deep. The Ravens scored their first possession, cutting the lead to 29-7 with 4:08 left in the first quarter.

IMAGE / Mackenzie Atkinson
Senior Jaylon Burchfield (No. 40) crosses into the end zone after a 65-yard touchdown run in a victory over Royal Oak Friday, Oct. 25.

In the second quarter, Douglas tackled a Raven on fourth down, forcing a turnover on downs. Junior Isaiah Stiverson made a catch and ran for an 81-yard touchdown and the Hornets led 36-7.

The Ravens responded in three plays with a passing touchdown.

Silvas scored a rushing touchdown in the red zone and the Hornets led 43-14 with 5:27 left in the first half.

Stiverson recovered a Royal Oak fumble on the Ravens’ next possession.

Scoring the Hornets’ final touchdown of the first half, Silvas popped through a pile of linemen for a 10-yard rush. The Hornets led 49-14.

Denying the Ravens’ opening drive of the second half, the Hornets scored again with 4:43 in the third quarter to lead 56-14.

The Hornets couldn’t score in the fourth quarter while the Ravens cut the lead to 56-21.

Kearsley dominated the game from start to finish.

Will the football team win its playoff game against Brother Rice?

  • Yes (94%, 29 Votes)
  • No (6%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 31

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On the defense, senior Tyler Byczynski made five solo tackles while Cooper made four himself and assisted on two.

Senior Josh Truax made three solo tackles and three assisted tackles.

On offense, Silvas proved unstoppable. He racked up 409 passing yards and four touchdowns through the air while picking up 70 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

Silvas attributes his high-caliber play to his team.

“I didn’t score seven times, our offense did.” Silvas said.

As the Hornets shift their focus to Brother Rice, they look to bring pride to the Kearsley program, once a powerhouse in the 1990s.

IMAGE / Mackenzie Atkinson
Coach Kaleb Forr (center, white sweatshirt) leads his senior football players in the traditional senior walk after beating Royal Oak 56-21 Friday, Oct. 25.

While the Warriors skill is evident on the field, the Hornets only focus is stinging them.

“There’s no doubt that Brother Rice is a good team but they don’t put any fear in our hearts,” Douglas said. “We are going to dominate and shock the world.”

The team’s tenacity and training will prove key to beating the Warriors.

“We will continue to have a work ethic unknown to mankind,” Silvas said. “We all have to believe in each other and we all have to do our jobs and if we do that, I think we will like the end result.”

Stiverson sees preparation as critical to winning the game.

“The game isn’t going to be won on Friday,” Stiverson said. “The game is won all week during practice. We have the same mindset no matter who we play and that’s to go out and dominate whoever lines up across from us.”

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