Twice before in his career, Berry senior kicker Beni Kensemi has had a chance to connect on a game-winning field goal and missed.
When the Cardinals had a chance to win Friday in overtime at Rocky River High School, he gained a measure of redemption. Kensemi’s 27-yard field goal was the difference in a 26-23 victory against Rocky River, which missed a 38-yard field goal on the first overtime possession.
Berry coach Andrew Howard played quarterback roulette, switching from starter Bryan Digsby to Jeremy Barber twice. Both senior quarterbacks led the Cardinals on a touchdown drive, and combined for 154 passing yards. Barber nearly won the game in the final minute, but fumbled into the end zone and Rocky River recovered.
Rocky River (0-2) controlled the ball for long stretches. Junior Ellijah Henry had 179 yards from scrimmage, and junior quarterback Tyshawn Carter ran for two scores. The Ravens had 220 yards rushing, but a fumble near the goal line led to a 92-yard return touchdown for Berry’s sophomore defensive back Marcellous Harris.
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After a blocked punt and a return touchdown against were problems for the Ravens last week, two short punts and the missed field goal cost them this week.
Quote: “Coach asked me if I wanted to kick right away so we can go home and I said, ‘Yes, let me take it,’ “ Kensemi said. “I think those other misses made me a better person. I’m glad I could make this one for my teammates.”
Worth mentioning: Berry is 2-0 for the first time since 2011, which is the last time the Cardinals reached the state playoffs.
“It’s been a long time, but we’re in a great conference,” Howard said.
Berry junior wideout Kusegi Cureton had five catches for 58 yards, including one for 31 yards to setup a game-tying touchdown with 2:40 remaining in regulation.
What’s next: Rocky River plays host to Sun Valley, while Berry has its home opener against Cuthbertson, which is ranked No. 12 in the Observer Sweet 16 and features Oklahoma commit Austin Kendall at quarterback.