RICHMOND -- The Kennedy-Fremont High football team arrived more than a hour late to Saturday's North Coast Section Division III first round playoff game against El Cerrito at De Anza High.
It still didn't take long for the top-seeded Gauchos to take control.
Senior running back Austin Harper had four carries for 109 yards and scored a 65-yard touchdown run on El Cerrito's first possession as the Gauchos overwhelmed Kennedy 56-8.
Kickoff was scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday, but Kennedy did not arrive at De Anza until shortly before 8 p.m. due to a transportation snafu. Once things began, El Cerrito (11-0) scored 21 points in each of the first two quarters and added two touchdowns in the third quarter as the Titans were completely blindsided.
The Gauchos now take on No. 9 Bishop O'Dowd in the quarterfinals next Saturday at De Anza. The Dragons beat Acalanes 16-13 in another first round game Friday.
Senior cornerback Marcellus Pippins scored on two punt returns, the first a 82-yard bolt in the first quarter and the second, a 70-yarder in the closing minutes of the first half.
Junior quarterback Keilan Benjamin completed 3-of-5 passes for 82 yards, including a 64-yard connection to junior wideout Adarius Pickett midway through the second quarter.
Joel Romero was the lone bright spot for Kennedy (4-7). Romero had 60 yards on 28 carries. The Titans finally scored in the waning minutes on a 2-yard run by Taylor
El Cerrito 56, Kennedy-Fremont 8
Kennedy 0 0 0 8-- 8
El Cerrito 21 21 14 0-- 56
EC — Harper 65 run (Gaviria kick)
EC — Pippins 82 punt return (Gaviria kick)
EC — Keilan Benjamin 32 run (Anderson run)
EC — Harper 14 run (Gaviria kick)
EC — Pickett 64 pass from Keilan Benjamin (Gaviria kick)
EC — Pippins 70 punt return (Gaviria kick)
EC — Harper 25 run (Gaviria kick)
EC — Singleton 12 run (Gaviria kick)
K — Marques 2 run (Abubakari pass from Staley)
Rushing: K — Romero 28-60, Slater 9-11, Marques 1-2, Staley 1-(-10). Totals 39-63. EC — Harper 4-109, Keilan Benjamin 3-65, Bryson Singleton 2-27, Anderson 1-18, Spencer 1-17, Davis 1-16, Keith Benjamin 1-16, Whittemore 1-6, Watts 2-5, Thomas 1-0. Totals 17-279. Passing: K -- Staley 3-13-1-110. EC — Keilan Benjamin 3-5-1-82. Receiving: K — Mendoza 1-60, Ohuafi 2-50.Totals 3-110. EC — Pickett 2-69, Keith Benjamin 1-13. Totals 3-83. Fumbles/lost: Kennedy-Fremont 1/0; El Cerrito 2-2. Records: Kennedy-Fremont 4-7; El Cerrito 11-0.