The Kennedy Cavaliers' running game returned from a two-week lapse and wore out Magruder, 19-6, in a duel between Montgomery County Division III leaders last night at Magruder.
Omar Nelson scored three touchdowns while rushing for 122 yards on 20 carries as Kennedy improved to 3-2, 3-0 in the division.
Magruder fell to 1-2, 2-3.
Nelson credited the return of halfback Owwsu Wilson, who had missed two games.
"We were getting really down on ourselves and lost a lot of respect," Nelson said. "But Owwsu came back and got the momentum going in practice and everybody was up again."
Wilson's return was short, however. He rushed six times for 32 yards before dislocating a knee in the second quarter.
"In the locker room at halftime we all decided we weren't going to lose this one," Nelson said. "We wanted to win it for Owwsu."
Kennedy held the ball the first six minutes of the game, driving 65 yards on 10 plays. The drive ended with Nelson's three-yard touchdown run up the middle.
Kennedy appeared to be driving for another score late in the second quarter, but Magruder held on three straight plays at the 12. Bruce Ballard blocked the ensuing field-goal attempt, and Magruder recovered at midfield with 37 seconds left.
Before the half ended, Magruder's Andy McLean threw 29 yards to Dan Hellie and 10 yards to Mike Graham to set up a first down at Kennedy's 14. Two plays later, McLean passed to Keith Yuhas in the left corner of the end zone for a score. Vince Petrolle kicked the extra point to give Magruder a 7-6 lead.
The Colonels began the second half with a conservative offense and soon found themselves trapped on fourth down at their 15. Magruder punted and the Cavaliers took over at the Colonels 43.
Nelson took the ball on the first snap and ran 43 yards, shedding tacklers much of the way, for the touchdown.
Magruder's following drive was halted when John Suley intercepted McLean's pass at Kennedy's 35 with six minutes remaining.
Nelson scored again from one yard with 1:11 left.