Bonnabel and Grace King finished with a combined total of two wins last season, and during the second game of the Kiwanis Jamboree Thursday at Joe Yenni Stadium, both squads got their opportunity to start fresh.
However, it was the Bruins who tasted victory as they defeated the Fighting Irish 13-0 with two scoring plays late in the second period.
With 4:56 left and the ball on the Irish 19-yard line, quarterback Semaj Franklin rushed to the 9. That set up a 9-yard run by Maurice Britton, which gave Bonnabel a 7-0 lead.
Jared Ambrose added a 4-yard touchdown run, which extended the lead to 13-0.
“Once we calmed down, I think we were able to run the ball, move the ball pretty good,” Bonnabel coach Reggie Rogers said.
Bonnabel had seven of its nine first downs in the second period and Rogers said that was because of nervousness from playing in front of more of the team’s fans.
“It was the jitters in front of the crowd,” he said. “We played a scrimmage last week away from home and I think they were a little more settled. But today, with the school environment, I think, they had to settle down. I really didn’t make any adjustments.”
While the Bruins amassed 107 rushing yards, Rogers said his offensive line aided that with their experience. Four of the people up front have started for at least two years.
“We’ve got some beef up front,” Rogers said. “We’ve got some know-how. We’ve just got to settle in and keep playing football.”
There has been some progress from last season.
“I see some good things,” Rogers said. “I see the old ways trying to creep in, but it’s my job to keep them focused and not let it come back in and haunt us. We have to let that go.”
While the opener might have featured several momentum-changing plays in the final moments, the first period started out slow, with both teams fumbling the ball.
Although they did not score, the Bruins were able to put together several offensive surges and had the first period’s two first downs.
One of Bonnabel’s quarterbacks, Sonny Tyner, led his team in rushing with 17 yards. The Bruins amassed 37 yards on 10 carries. The other signal caller that saw playing time was Franklin, who rushed for 10 yards in the opening period.
Rogers said both Tyner and Franklin are vying for the starting job.
First-year Grace King coach Stuart Bott said his team did its best work in the first period.
“We had some good moments and we had some bad moments,” Bott said. “For the first 25 minutes, we played really well. We held them 0-0. Then we had one play that didn’t go our way and it just seemed like the air out of the balloon deflated. We weren’t the same team after that. We got to learn how to overcome adversity and things like that.”
Grace King’s Anthony Marino finished the contest with 9 rushing yards on five carries. He also completed the game’s only pass, for 10 yards.