On This Day in History | 1997

The 1997 Big IV Champions | Kenney (1st row, 4th from right)

On this day 13 years ago…

The football team opened the 1997 season with a great deal of optimism, which only increased after a 34-6 drubbing of Southampton, the 17th ranked team in the state. Derek Kenney led the way with 4 touchdown passes and 1 rushing TD, earning him Newsday Player of the Week honors. Kenney hooked up with Jon Marvin on his first two touchdown tosses, then found Ben Bitonti from 7 yards out to give the Bears comfortable 21-0 halftime advantage. In the second half, the Brook put the game away when Kenney found Marvin for their third touchdown connection of the day and Kenney took the ball in himself on a 40-yard run that put the blue and white up 34-0.

“It was a nearly flawless first half of football,” Coach Steve Diehl told The Three Village Times that afternoon. “Our offensive and defensive lines did an outstanding job controlling the line of scrimmage.” With the win, the Bears gained the #11 ranking in the state by the New York State Sportswriters Poll. Kenney recalled his memorable afternoon:

It was our first game of the season, and it was very hot. That team had a lot of confidence and we didn’t have the size or large number of athletes to choose from, but we knew what our jobs were from top to bottom. All we had to do was show up and do our jobs well and we would win. Everyone played well that day.


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