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Oak Park’s Kelly breaks loose in second half of Knights’ downing of RH Adams

By: Scott Burnstein, September 26, 2014, 10:45 pm

OAK PARK – Johnny Kelly was a man on a mission to dominate Friday night in the second half of Oak Park’s OAA White battle with visiting Rochester Hills Adams.

Kelly, Oak Park’s senior running back, was a force of nature in the third quarter, rushing for 135 yards and two touchdowns within a 90 second-time span to break open a tight game and vault the Knights to a 34-10 win in front of their home crowd.

“That’s what he does,” said Oak Park head coach Greg Carter of Kelly’s heroics.

Uncommitted to a college, but holding a slew of major Division I scholarship offers, the all-state playmaker racked up 200 yards total on the ground, after only recording 35 in the first half.

His 40-yard touchdown trot gave the Knights a 13-3 lead with 7:15 left in the third quarter. A minute and a half later, he ran it in from 72 yards out and had the home grandstand rocking and rolling with excitement.

“I got it going in the second half, I had to,” Kelly said. "That’s what my teammates expect from me and that’s what I expect from myself."

According to a number of recruiting experts, the favorites in the race for his services at the next level are currently Michigan State and Minnesota.

Oak Park (4-1) also received touchdown runs from William Butler (7 yards) and Damerius Jones (56 yards, 36 yards, respectively). Jones’ 56-yarder came on the last play of the crucial third quarter, placing the Knights on top 27-10.

Adams (2-3) competed with fire in its belly in the first half, controlling play during the opening 24 minutes of action and taking a 3-0 advantage into the locker room.

Nick Antenucci posted the Highlanders’ lone touchdown of the evening on a 3-yard run.

"We didn’t play the kind of football we needed to in the second half, we didn’t sustain," said Adams head coach Tony Patritto of the way the contest concluded.