Kentridge wins on McKernan's 50-yard burst, 27-24
Cameron McKernon, returning from an ankle injury, dashed 50 yards for the winning touchdown with 7:37 left for the Chargers.
Special to The Seattle Times
AUBURN — The return of injured Kentridge running back Cameron McKernan put the charge back in the Chargers, almost immediately.
McKernan carried 15 times for 111 yards and scored the winning touchdown as Kentridge, with a late surge, downed Auburn Riverside 27-24 Friday night in an SPSL 4A North Division game at Auburn Memorial Stadium.
McKernan had an answer for his teammates when they needed it most, bursting over right tackle for a 50-yard touchdown run with 7:37 left in the game. The score erased a 24-20 lead for Auburn Riverside, and the Chargers' defense did the rest.
"We missed (Cameron) a little bit," Kentridge coach Marty Osborn said of the 5-foot-11, 202-pound McKernan, who suffered a high-ankle sprain in the season opener and did not play again until Friday. "The kids really came out and competed for four quarters. The run from Cameron, that's what we expect from our senior players — to step up and make plays like that."
The win put Kentridge (2-2 overall, 2-2) back in the race for a spot in the playoffs after starting 0-2.
"I'm feeling healthy and I'm ready to roll," said McKernan. "I probably could've gone last week, but it was precautionary to sit. The second we lined up (on the winning TD play), I saw my O-line and they just told me to run through it (the hole) hard.
"When you have a passion for the game, it's always hard to sit down."
Kentridge quarterback Caleb Smith threw for 90 yards — all in the first half — on 8-of-17 passing, and ran for a touchdown.
The Ravens (2-2, 1-2) used momentum on a fourth-down defensive stop to start a drive for a go-ahead TD and a 24-20 lead.
Quarterback John Hakala rolled right and hit Nick Alexander in the front left corner of the end zone with a 4-yard TD pass with 8:03 remaining.
Kentridge struck right back when McKernan raced 50 yards for his score just 26 seconds later.
Connor Bjornstad had 78 yards on 14 carries for the Ravens, who outgained the Chargers 281-257 in offense. Hakala connected on 13 of 24 passes for 179 yards and a TD with one interception.