The Kalamazoo Loy Norrix Knights entered Thursday’s game losers of 17 straight contests. It has been a hard millennium of Knights football, with their last winning season coming in 1998, when they had Little John Flowers and TJ Duckett roaming the backfield. A highlight and lasting memory was formed for the players and coaches on the 2022 Loy Norrix team on Thursday night. They went up against Kalamazoo Central, a rival that has beaten them three consecutive times, including 41-6 a season ago. Loy Norrix flipped the script, and their defense played the key in an 8-7 victory.

On their opening drive, Loy Norrix struck first. The Knights got a 12-yard touchdown pass from James Rocco to Jaydon Ruiz. This 12-yard toss was paired with a conversion pass. This gave the Knights an 8-0 lead with over 9 minutes left in the first quarter.

Kalamazoo Central would respond with their own scoring play, as Latayvion Braxton was the open target for Ce’Jai Berry. Their 52-yard connection pulled the Maroon Giants within a point, trailing 8-7.

Over the final 40 minutes of game play, each team had their chances. But the defenses on both sides made big plays, forced mistakes, and held each other off the scoreboard. Unfortunately for K Central, they had gone for the PAT in the first quarter. That proved to be the ultimate difference, an 8-7 defeat.

Zarquease Arnold, the defensive tackle for Loy Norrix finished with 6 tackles, 4 for loss. Tyson Calicutt added 9 tackles and a sack. Carlton Freeman had 6 tackles, 2 tackles for loss and a sack.

Loy Norrix, 1-1 on the season, will try to obtain a winning record when they play Livonia Clarenceville. Kalamazoo Central, who is now 0-2, will start SMAC play against St. Joseph.