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Ardrey Kell dispatches Olympic, takes sole possession of first in SoMECK

Ardrey Kell is finally alone atop the SoMeck 4A football standings.

The Knights shook off a slow start to dominate Olympic 31-7 in a clash of league unbeatens to take a giant step toward the regular-season title.

“We were basically playing for the conference championship,” quarterback Jared Joseph said, “so we came out here and dogged it out and won that game.”

The Knights were at their best in the second half, outscoring Olympic 25-0 to win with ease. After misfiring in scoring territory in the first half, Ardrey Kell was more efficient after the break, with Joseph tossing three of his four touchdown passes and racking up 167 yards. The Knights scored on all four second-half possessions.

“We realized we had all the pieces,” Joseph said. “We just had to put them together. It was like a chess game. We had to figure it out. It was a strategic game … and we just worked it out. We executed.”

Olympic made the most of its single trip into Ardrey Kell territory when quarterback Sean Bowles scrambled 38 yards for a touchdown and 7-6 Trojans’ lead 28 seconds before intermission.

Ardrey Kell advanced inside Olympic’s 30 three times in the first half but managed only Jared Joseph’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Francis in the second quarter to go ahead 6-0.

Records: Olympic 6-3, 3-1; Ardrey Kell 7-1, 4-0.

Three who mattered

Jared Joseph: The Ardrey Kell quarterback connected on 33-of-47 passes for 333 yards and four scores. He went 15-of-18 for for 167 yards and three touchdowns in the second half.

Sean Bowles: The Olympic quarterback’s 36-yard touchdown run in the second run was the Trojans’ biggest play of the first half. Before that play, Olympic struggled on offense.

Cedric Gray: The Knights’ two-way standout scored on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Nathan Francis and tossed one from 4 yards out to Michael Hetzel. He added a sack as well.

Worth mentioning

Ardrey Kell ran more plays in the first half than Olympic, 38-28, and outgained the Trojans 173-118.

Ardrey Kell running back Brooks Stankavage kept the chains moving with 136 yards of total offense. He caught nine passes for 60 yards and ran for 76 more on 16 carries.

Ardrey Kell’s pass rush racked up five sacks, with Travis Collins leading the way with a pair.

Ardrey Kell doubled Olympic’s first-down output 26 to 13, with 15 in the second half alone. Sixteen Knights passes resulted in first downs.

They said it

“We realized we were getting down the field. We just weren’t capitalizing and finishing our drives. We had to regroup at halftime and finish our drives together.” – Joseph

What’s next

Olympic hosts West Mecklenburg. Ardrey Kell travels to Berry Academy.

Olympic 0 7 0 0-7

Ardrey Kell 0 6 13 12-31

Second quarter

AK-Nathan Francis 11-yard pass from Jared Joseph (kick blocked)

O-Sean Bowles 36-yard run (Colby Scheffers kick)

Third quarter

AK-Cedric Gray 7-yard pass from Joseph (Jackson Price kick)

AK-Michael Hetzel 4-yard pass from Cedric Gray (kick blocked)

Fourth quarter

AK-Hetzel 20-yard pass from Joseph (run failed)

AK-Brooks Stankavage 7-yard pass from Joseph (pass failed)

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