PEYTON — Jacob Kennedy was tired of waiting around. After a thunderstorm rolled through Colorado Springs and into the plains towns just east of the city, Kennedy and his Florence teammates sat in the locker room of the old Peyton High School and waited 40 minutes past the scheduled start of their game against Peyton before even taking the field for warmups.
So when he got the ball in his hands for the first offensive play of the game, he took it 65 yards to put the Class 1A No. 7 Huskies up early. And they never looked back in a 34-0 win over No. 9 Peyton.
“It was nice,” Kennedy said. “There was an open field and we got the score.”
With games in the area getting their start times pushed back or the games postponed altogether, seeing football being played in Peyton was a borderline miracle. But the Huskies (2-0 overall) were anxious to show that their rushing attack that has served them well for two weeks now can work in varying degrees.
Coming off a 220-yard game last week Owen Busetti broke out a long run of his own, going for 35 yards to make it a 14-0 game, but for the majority of the 48 minutes on Friday night, Florence wanted to grind their way down the field.
“The long runs are awfully nice,” coach Jeremy Nix said. “But we need to be a team that grind it out and do that every drive.”
It helps to have the workhorses. Kennedy ran for 125 yards and three touchdowns in the win while Busetti totaled 101 yards to go with his touchdown in the first quarter.
The last Florence score also came on the ground, but it was quarterback Josh Martinez who carried it in. It doesn’t matter who’s getting the carries or who is having the better game for Florence as all the boys just want to end each game with a win.
“We work well as a crew,” Busetti said. “Our offensive line, our defense, our backs, we have a great bond.”
And it’s serving them well in this young 2019 season.
The Panthers (0-1) lost a ton of talent to graduation and don’t appear to be the same team they’ve been for the last two seasons. But coach Richard Deems saw flashes of what his kids are able to do and is confident that they’ll grow into their roles and take ques from what past teams have been able to do.
“I knew what was coming,” he said. “I think this year is going to be better than tonight’s result, we just have to get healthy and get more on kids on the field that can help us in certain spots.”
West Hart gave the Panthers the most offense as he broke the 50-yard rushing mark.
The road won’t get easier right away for Peyton as a trip to No. 2 Colorado Springs Christian is on the docket next week.
Florence will look to improve to 3-0 on the season as it travels to Monte Vista.