Varsity football falls to Kenwood in first game of the season


Megan Camacho

Lane huddles after losing to Kenwood on Friday, Aug. 27.

By Megan Camacho, Photo & Graphics Editor

Heading into the 2021-22 football season, the Lane football team had a new sense of readiness and competitive spirit after a shortened spring 2021 campaign.

Unfortunately for Lane, their quest for glory took a detour Friday night, falling to a strong Kenwood Broncos team under the lights at Lane Stadium.

With new leadership under second-year head coach Dedrick Dewalt, the football team took the field Friday evening in their inaugural game of the school year. 

Despite several bright spots on both sides of the ball, Kenwood (1-0) defeated Lane 27-9, dropping Lane to 0-1 on the young season.

As the sun set on Lane Stadium, stretches of students filed into the stands for their first taste of high school sports this year. School spirit soared high, bolstered by performances from cheerleaders, the dance team, flags and band.

Amidst the energetic rallies and Kenwood’s vast reserves of players, the team’s energy felt different, manager Maddy Youssef observed. 

“I felt that in the beginning, our team was nervous seeing the other team and coming back to a full game with fans and everything,” Youssef told The Champion via direct message.

The first quarter was tough for Lane, riddled with some struggles on offense with disconnected passes. Kenwood weaved through Lane’s defense early to establish a lead. An early touchdown gave the Broncos a 7-0 first quarter lead.

Lane managed to answer back with a field goal, putting themselves on the board for the first time this season.

Coach Dewalt noted that the team played “toe-to-toe” against a talented Kenwood team from the second quarter and beyond. The score remained stagnant at 7-3 to start the second quarter, before Kenwood came alive on both sides of the ball. 

A combination of impressive interceptions and a solid running game from the Broncos would usher in another two touchdowns, giving Kenwood a commanding 21-3 heading into the half.

The second half was intense for the home team. Lane played fiercely, but they dealt with a great amount of blindside blows and injuries.

Youssef noted this was uncharacteristic for the team. Lane faced disadvantages numbers-wise, with a lot of strong players out on the sidelines and a smaller team compared to the abundance of players Kenwood had.

Despite this, the team kept their heads up high with some stunning moves in the third. Senior Kevin Medina (#33) made a smooth interception at the Lane 30 yard line, inciting cheers from the sidelines and the stands. Later, wide receiver Benji Agunloye (#4) would catch the ball from quarterback Donnell Adams (#8) for a touchdown, breaking the scoring drought to bring Lane within two touchdowns, trailing 21-9.

A fourth-quarter touchdown from Kenwood would put the game out of reach for Lane, solidifying the Broncos’ 27-9 victory.

Despite some ups and downs Friday evening, Coach Dewalt is proud of the way Lane played.

“We have some things that we have to work on,” he said. “But we’ll be fine. We’re moving in the right direction. That’s what I’m excited about.”

Dewalt said that he is in the middle of a culture change with Lane Tech football as he enters his second season with the team. He wants to make sure that his players get better and is optimistic about a great season ahead of them.

“We’re gonna get better as a team, and that’s what it is,” Dewalt said. “If we play like we played today, I’m excited about how we’re moving forward.”

Lane will hit the road for one of only two times this season next Friday, Sept. 3, heading to Lansing, Illinois to take on Thornton Fractional South (0-1). Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m.