Kennedy High School held off a second-half Garden Grove rally to preserve a 21-20 Garden League victory Friday night and improve its chances for a playoff spot.
The Fighting Irish (5-5, 4-2) preserved the victory by stopping a two-point conversion try with 5:47 left in the game when Steve Usery tackled J.J. Cortez short of the goal line.
Garden Grove (3-6, 1-5) had rallied from a 21-7 halftime deficit to close the the gap to one point with a 66-yard drive when quarterback Bob Ioja tossed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Tim Silva.
Kennedy dominated the first half with three long scoring drives. An 84-yard Kennedy drive was climaxed by Russ Clark's five-yard touchdown pass to Min Son with 5:42 left in the first quarter. Scott Jones kicked his first of three extra points.
The Fighting Irish went ahead, 13-0, on Vince Church's three-yard run with 4:59 remaining in the first half.