PASSAIC, NJ - If you combined the jersey numbers of the Kennedy High’s senior combination of quarterback Rashon Ison (#7) and wide receiver Miguel Miller (#3), you get 10, as in perfect 10. That’s pretty much what Ison and Miller were Saturday afternoon, as they lead the Knights to a 21-14 victory over the Passaic Indians.
Ison threw two touchdown passes to Miller and Miller ran for another one on top of that. Miller played as if he belonged in the latest version of a Madden video game, making huge plays on both sides of the ball and on special teams.
With both teams coming off season-opening losses, the first half was marred with penalties by both teams. Offsides and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties had the yellow flags flying at a rate that would make one think the referees had more pass attempts than both quarterbacks combined.
After both offenses struggled to score, Passaic was driving. But Miller put a stop to that. He intercepted a Passaic pass deep inside Kennedy territory. Then the Knights broke into the scoring column when Ison connected with Miller for an 85-yard touchdown pass. Miller wasn’t done. On the Knights’ kickoff, Miller again showed his skills, making an open field tackle that put the Passaic Indians in mediocre field position.
Protecting its 7-0 lead, the Knights made a goal line stand to turn away one Passaic drive. But on another possession, the Indians’ Dennis Morris pounded his way into the end zone on a third and goal from the Knights’one-yard line.
The Knights appeared to have regained momentum when Miller’s 20-yard kickoff return have them excellent field position at their 48 yard line. But the Indians had other plans, with cornerback Davon Stowe picking off Ison on a pass intended for Miller. A penalty after the whistle set up the Indians for their second touchdown which came when Stowe would gallop into the end zone from their own 49 yard line for a 50 yard touchdown run.
Leading 12-7, the Indians seemed poised to go in for the kill in the third quarter after they forced a fumble that gave them the ball deep in Knights’ territory. But Kennedy’s Rodney Anthony made some big stops on defense and the Knights were able to force the Indians to turn the ball over on downs.
On the next possession, the Knights found themselves with their backs to the end zone and the Indians took advantage, registering a safety that made the score 13-7.
With the clock winding down on the third quarter, Ison would again connect to his favorite target Miller for a 60- yard touchdown pass that silenced the capacity crowd at Boverini Stadium.
The senior tandem was not finished. With the score tied mid-way through the fourth quarter, Ison handed to Miller who raced 37 yards for the deciding touchdown.
Junior running back Greg Oliver would get in on the action, running for the two-point conversion that gave the Knights a 21-14 advantage.
Miller sent many of the Indian fans heading for the exit when he recovered a fumble on a late punt. The Knights then employed some sound clock management, turning to their running game to run out the clock. On the legs of junior running back Shaon Stephenson they implemented a sound ground attack that ate up most of the game clock.
The Indians would have one final chance. They got the ball with 50 seconds left in the game. But the Knights defense came up big again, with two key sacks to thwart the comeback attempt. The first sack was by Knights linebacker Rodney Anthony and the second was by senior defensive tackle Quashon Johnson would close out the game with another sack of Reed.
The Knights improved to 1-1 for the season, while Passaic fell to 0-2.