Varsity Football Gets First Ever Playoff Win Against Ritenour

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On Friday,Oct. 24, the Francis Howell North (4-6) varsity football picked up their first playoff win in school history,traveling to Ritenour High School (3-7) for the first round of

Sophomore Donnell Hawkins runs the ball to the endzone against Timberland. (photo by Amanda Eckhard)
Sophomore Donnell Hawkins runs the ball to the endzone against Timberland. (photo by Amanda Eckhard)

districts.

“I feel really special to be the first team in school history to win a playoff game,” senior running back Xavier Smith said. “For us to do this is just amazing.”

The Knights won the game 21-19 by holding the Ritenour Huskies from completing a late fourth quarter comeback. The team is extremely hyped after this victory and landmark in the school’s history but the Knights also know they still need some work.

“The team can improve on defense with better coverage downfield and better run-blocking,” senior left tackle AJ Lozada. “On offense, we could limit the penalties called against us.”

The game started slow with a single score by the Huskies which gave them a 7-0 lead going into the half. Coming out of the half, the Knights tied the game up with a touchdown. The Knights then went on to score 14 points to go up 21-7. But this Huskies team was not going down without a fight. The Huskies scored another touchdown but missed the extra point to make it 21-13 late in the fourth. The Huskies then marched down the field again to score but the Knights’ defense held strong to deny the 2-point conversion and close out a historic 21-19 victory.

“We win as a team or we lose as a team,” Smith said. “If we can continue that team chemistry, we can win.”

While this team plays together, the Knights also have some standout players this season. Running backs Elijah Keely (12 touchdowns, 789 yards), DJ Curtis (9 touchdowns, 633 yards), and Cameron Glenn (289 yards) have been the driving force of this offense with a combined 21 touchdowns and 1,711 yards rushing on the season.

On defense, the Knights are led by defensive back Moe Hill (80 total tackles, 2 fumble recoveries, 2 interceptions), linebacker Nick Gehricke (79 total tackles, 4 sacks), and linebacker Rhe’Neze Galtney (102 total tackles, 3 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries) who have been giving the Knights some much needed support this season.

Also, quarterback Brenden Leiser has came in the second half of this season and done well with the starting job racking up  954 passing yards and five touchdowns.

“If we come together as a team and continue the chemistry, I think we can win,” Lozada said.

The Knights will travel as underdogs to undefeated CBC High School (10-0), who just came off a 52-7 victory over the De Smet Spartans (1-9). The game will be played at 7 p.m. Friday with the winner moving on to the District Championship.