High school football: Kenwood’s running game too much for Perspectives

Kenwood’s offense is either one-dimensional or three-dimensional, depending on your point of view.

The Broncos have an FBS receiver in Western Michigan recruit Logan Lester, but they rarely throw the ball. In a 58-0 victory Saturday against host Perspectives in a Class 6A playoff game, Kenwood attempted five passes and completed one — for a four-yard touchdown to Lester.

The Broncos also spread 29 carries among six running backs, finishing with 262 rushing yards behind a big, strong offensive line. There isn’t necessarily a featured back in the group, but the three leaders are seniors Taylen Goodwin and Davonte Johnson and junior Mako Grant.

Goodwin had 129 yards and two touchdowns on six carries, Johnson had three rushes for 84 yards and a touchdown and Grant ran seven times for 92 yards and a touchdown. They’re all fine with the mix-and-match approach.

”It keeps everybody refreshed,” Goodwin said. ”A well-oiled machine. I can’t thank my [fellow] backs enough. Mako and ‘Juice’ [Johnson], they’re great backs. It’s a great tandem.”

Johnson said there are no egos about the distribution of carries.

”We don’t really look at it as competition,” he said. ”We look at it as, if one gets tired, we put another one in. We get the win, that’s all we care about.”

Grant called it ”a nice, friendly competition. We all better each other. . . . Even though we’re three different backs, we ball as one.”

Kenwood coach Sinque Turner understands some observers might question the Broncos’ heavy reliance on the run game. But as the calendar flips to November and nastier weather looms, he’s OK relying on his ball carriers to shoulder the offensive load.

”It gives me a sense of security,” he said. ”I feel like we can protect the ball better, control the clock a little bit and still have some offensive production. It may seem one-dimensional, but when you’ve got those three guys who can do so many different things and whatnot, I don’t call that one-dimensional.”

That’s part of the trio’s value: They all bring a little different look. Defenders can lose track of Goodwin, who’s 5-7, behind Kenwood’s linemen. Johnson and Grant are a little bigger at 5-9 and 5-11, respectively.

”They’ve all got a little speed behind them, and Mako Grant runs behind the shoulder pads really good,” Turner said. ”Taylen did a really good job of running behind the shoulder pads today, and ‘Juice’ is more of a slasher. But they’re all pretty good running backs.

”We haven’t been able to run the ball as effectively as I wanted to throughout the whole season, but this is a good time to peak.”

Up next for Kenwood (7-3) is Bremen (9-1), which also features a run-heavy offense with a trio of backs: Breyahn Townsend, Keshawn Lewis-Hunt and Dion Debrue. The Braves average 347 rushing yards per game.

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