WARREN - For the John F. Kennedy Eagles to have any success, they have to get their running game going. Friday night at Mollenkopf Stadium, they did just that, rushing for 323 yards on 45 carries as they easily defeated Sharon 44-10.
Junior quarterback Dominic Naples led Kennedy's running attack with 99 yards on 13 carries, and an 8-yard touchdown for the game's first score. The success on the ground helped open things up for Naples to complete 6-of-10 passes for 90 yards and a pair of TD tosses.
"Dominic's had two great games back to back," Kennedy coach Dave Pappada said. "I think the tables are turning. He's working at it, and played very well defensively. Now he's starting to get into the offensive flow for us."
Kennedy (4-2) also took advantage of Sharon's sloppiness, recovering three fumbles it converted into 17 points.
With the game scoreless, the Tigers moved the ball down to the Kennedy 3. On second and goal, quarterback Jason Ondic put the ball on the ground. The Eagles recovered and drove 95 yards in eight plays for the touchdown. Naples had runs of 26 and 29 yards on the drive.
"Tough to defend. They run that counter play extremely well," said Sharon coach Bob Fromm. "At times, we were just not making the tackle, and at other times we were fooled by play faking going on in the backfield."
Sharon (1-4) trailed 7-0 but had a chance to tie. The Tigers drove from their 34 to the JFK 5. On second and goal from the 2, Ondic was dropped for a 6-yard loss and they had to settle for a field goal.
Kennedy pulled away in the second quarter. After Robert Seger scored from 3 yards out for a 14-3 lead, Sharon's Dallas Rodgers fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Eagles had the ball on the 17. Eric Bofenkamp hit a 40-yard field goal for a two-touchdown lead.
"We ran a lot of our counter trey game against them," Pappada said. "You've got to give credit to our offensive line. We looked pretty good there in the first half."
The Eagles added a defensive touchdown on the first possession of the third quarter. After a bad shotgun snap put Sharon in a third-and-20 from its own 13, Ondic was hit and fumbled the ball back into the end zone. Naples recovered and Kennedy had an insurmountable 31-3 advantage.
"The defense played great in the first half," Pappada said. "They had the ball I think inside our 2-yard line and couldn't get in and had to kick a field goal. This is the fourth game where our defense played really well."
After the Tigers scored a touchdown, Kennedy came right back to drive 63 yards in 11 plays and took 5 minutes, 7 seconds off the clock. Alec Rossi had a 26-yard run on the drive. Facing a third-and-14 on the Sharon 29, Naples hit Seger for 10 yards, then he gained 6 more on the ground to pick up the first down on the 13. Five plays later, Naples passed 4 yards to Rossi for the score and a 38-10 lead.
Kennedy hosts Holy Name next Saturday night.