Kindred helps Centennial High bring home bell for fourth consecutive year
The Pueblo Centennial Bulldogs defeated the Pueblo Central Wildcats 41-29 in front of a packed Dutch Clark Stadium crowd on Friday night in the 63rd annual Bell Game.
While several players from each team turned in respectable performances, Bulldog quarterback Quincy Kindred stole the spotlight in the 113th matchup between the two teams.
Kindred, a junior listed at 5-foot-8 and 175-pounds, ran over every bit of the artificial turf at Dutch Clark Stadium on his way to 278 yards rushing and six touchdowns, five of them on the ground.
Kindred also added one touchdown pass and a made a crucial interception on defense in the contest, which turned out to be the Kindred show.
“He’s amazing. He’s a great player that works hard,” Mike Palumbo, head coach of the Bulldogs said, “He’s a three sport athlete and we’re lucky to have him.”
Bulldogs got off to a quick start, as senior Avary Currington took the opening kickoff over 70 yards and put his offense deep into Wildcats territory.
It didn’t take long for Kindred to make his way into the end zone for the first time, as he scampered for a 32-yard run on third down to find pay dirt.
The Wildcats found themselves in a big hole early, as senior Bulldog Tristan Williams blocked a punt on Central’s first possession, giving Centennial the ball at the 19-yard line and setting up a quick score for Kindred.
“It was straight adrenaline, it was awesome,” Williams said, “I felt like I was on top of the world.”
Only two minutes later, Kindred was running for a 67-yard score following another Wildcat punt, giving his team a 20-0 lead within the first seven minutes of the game.
The Wildcats were able to regroup quickly, led by senior quarterback Zach Andrews. Andrews threw for two touchdowns and ran for another while amassing 210 yards in the air, but he also threw two interceptions.
One of the interceptions was made by none other than Kindred with seconds left in the first half, setting up a 73-yard Kindred touchdown run as time expired, giving the Bulldogs a 34-14 lead.
Kindred attributed his fancy footwork to his offseason training and agility exercises, but running for an average of 16-yards-per-carry will take its toll on a player.
“I was cramping up pretty bad,” Kindred said with a smile after the game.
The Wildcats were able to control the clock and drive down the field in the second half, but the Bulldog defense was able to halt two drives through two big fourth down stops.
Naturally, a 13-yard Kindred touchdown run sealed the game for the Bulldogs, as there was not enough time for the Wildcats to make a comeback, even after a Hail Mary touchdown pass from Andrews to his top target Michael Ranson.
The victory marks the fourth year in a row that the Bell will ring red, only the second time in history the Bulldogs have compiled such a streak.
“It feels great to make history, it feels great right now” Kindred said.
Palumbo echoed that sentiment, saying that while they never really talked about tying the streak, it was always in the back of their minds.
Although the game marked the 113th time the two teams have met, the first “Bell Game” came in 1950 when local businessman Lewis Rhodes donated a brass train bell to the game.
The Wildcats still lead the all-time series 55-49-9, including a 34-28-3 mark since the bell became a part of the game.