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Kalamazoo Central Rallies to Avoid Historical Streak in Crosstown Rivalry

by Carolyn Binder

KALAMAZOO (WQLR) -- Fourth-year head coach Dana Chambers was just short of guaranteeing a victory for his team as they opened their season against cross town rival Loy Norrix Thursday night. Neither team had lost three consecutive games in this matchup, and that stat holds true as the Maroon Giants pulled out a 14-13 win in their 54th all time meeting.

K-Central sophomore signal caller Darius Skinner capped the game-winning drive with a pass that only Marquevion Peake could catch from the 18 yard line. Peake fell into the end zone with 3:19 remaining, and the Maroon Giant defense did the rest.

Skinner 12-of-28 passing for 145 yards and a touchdown.

Both teams came out slow in the opening half, trading turnovers and penalties through the first 24 minutes of the game. Fittingly, it was a penalty that helped Loy Norrix get on the board as the first half came to a close. The Maroon Giants were whistled for a face mask on a missed Loy Norrix field goal as time expired, giving the Knights a free play to get on the board. Sophomore quarterback Traver Parlato found Josh Mills from 5 yards out to put Loy Norrix up 7-0 at the half.

Deflated but not done, K-Central intercepted Parlato deep in Knights territory to open the second half, and senior running back Forrest Drummer capped the play with a 3 yard touchdown run to tie the game at seven. Drummer finished with 50 yards on 29 carries and a touchdown.

Parlato went right back to the passing in the fourth quarter, connecting with a wide open Terrehl Kelly who shook a defender and sprinted 52 yards for the touchdown. Senior kicker Stokley Eller missed the extra point attempt, opening the door for the Maroon Giants.

K-Central's defense pressured Loy Norrix all night, led by senior linebacker Cristobal Najar. Najar was in on the final sack of Parlato as time expired to seal the win for the Maroon Giants.

K-Central (1-0) will travel to Battle Creek Central next Friday while Loy Norrix (0-1) is on the road to Portage Central to battle a tough Mustangs team. 1660 The Fan will head to the KVA for the broadcast of Schoolcraft versus Constantine next Friday. Pre-game coverage starts at 6:45.

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