Grain Valley's Hoover too much for Grandview
By Brian Spano PrepsKC Senior Writer
To say Grain Valley wide receiver Zac Hoover did it all Friday night to help his fellow Eagles defeat the Grandview Bulldogs 52-21 might be the understatement of this high school football season.
He was unstoppable. His five touchdowns, two receiving and three rushing, propelled the Eagles, 6-3 overall and 2-0 in Class 4, District 14, to a playoff berth and chance to win the district outright next week at Harrisonville. Hoover finished the night with 182 yards on the ground and 79 through the air.
“I’m pretty sure every hole I ran through was behind Kole Vittetoe and Ryan Nace,” said Hoover. “We made some adjustments at the half, and whatever it is the big guys do, they did it, and it worked. It’s awesome, and it feels great.”
Throughout the season, Hoover has that special connection with his quarterback Jeramey Maynard. Although Friday night’s game at Grandview may not have been one of Maynard’s best, he knows the bond he shares can never be broken.
“When I moved here in eighth grade, he was my first friend,” Maynard said “Ever since then it’s been me and him. I had to fight for my quarterback position, and since then, Hoover said I’m going to take care of you, and that’s the philosophy. We will take care of each other till the end. Every play, till the end.”
It actually took a half for the Grain Valley offense to rev up. For a team that had been averaging nearly 48 points per game in their last six, the wheels may have been spinning a bit through much of the first half, taking a 17-7 lead to the break.
“I think we kind of shot ourselves in the foot a few times in the first half,” said Grain Valley head coach Jimmy Tucker. “We had penalties and some mental mistakes. We were in the redzone one time and didn’t score. We threw an interception on fourth down. In the second half, we really got our running game going and mixed in some passes with it, and I thought that was the difference.”
Grandview, which also possesses a potent offense, had trouble moving the ball as well. It took a long 12-play drive that began off of an interception to kick start the Bulldogs late in the first half. Ryan Lee connected with Terik Lewis
In the second half, Grandview, 1-8 and 0-2, came out swinging. In just seven plays, all passes, the Bulldogs scored to make the game 17-13 on a Lee to Jaron Alexander pass.
But over the next five minutes Grain Valley went on a scoring spree.
Hoover ran for an 80-yard touchdown. Then Tucker Pauley dove in for a one-yard score. Finally, Hoover bolted 54 yards.
By the time the dust had settled in the third quarter, both teams had combined for 35 points. The Eagles added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and their postseason tickets were punched.
“One of our goals coming in was to make the playoffs, and we got that done,” said Tucker. “Another goal is to beat Harrisonville, and in order to make it a rivalry, we have to beat them, and we haven’t beaten them in like 10 years. We have to have a great week of practice and come out and be ready to play them next week.”
Defensively, Grain Valley held the Bulldogs to just seven yards rushing; however, Lee was able to fire 364 yards through the air, hitting Alexander for 154 and Jeremy Reed for 114.
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