KIPP’s running game carries Panthers past Keefe Tech

Piero Canales (center) scored two touchdowns, both runs, in Saturday's KIPP win. (Olivia Falcigno)

The KIPP Academy football team picked up its third consecutive win with a 40-6 victory at Commonwealth Athletic Conference rival Keefe Tech Saturday. With the win, KIPP punched its ticket to the Division 8 North state tournament. 

Keefe Tech scored out of the gate on an interception return and led 6-0 at the end of the first quarter, with two KIPP turnovers limiting the Panthers. But KIPP scored 26 points in the second quarter, took complete control and never looked back. The Panthers closed their scoring with a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter. 

Daniel Oluwasuyi (15 carries, 171 yards) scored KIPP’s first touchdown on a 20-yard run. Quarterback Piero Canales (seven carries, 169 yards) scored the next two touchdowns on runs of 80 and five yards. Dave Filias (seven carries, 61 yards) closed the half with a 5-yard touchdown run. 

Filias put KIPP up 34-6 on another 5-yard touchdown rush to start the third quarter. On KIPP’s ensuing drive, Oluwasuyi found the end zone from 10 yards out. 

“We turned the ball over three times in the first half,” KIPP coach Jim Rabbitt said. “We fought some adversity. Our defense was excellent. It was a defensive shutout. We held them to less than 100 yards of offense. We scored 40 on a team that hasn’t allowed 40 points all season. 

“We’re really happy with the way the guys have played over the last few weeks. Something’s clicking. We’re 4-2 heading into the last week of the regular season and we’re pretty happy with that.” 

The Panthers (4-2) host Essex Tech in another CAC bout Thursday (7). 

“They’re a CAC Large team,” Rabbitt said. “They run a tough i-wing formation. It’ll be a tough test for us. It’s a good test before the playoffs. It’s a good measuring stick for us, to see if we can compete with a team like that. It’s a really awesome feeling to be playing a meaningful game this late in October in just our third season. We’re really happy with the way things have progressed.”

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