Pleasant Hill holds off Grain Valley
By Bill Althaus The Examiner
Grain Valley coach Jimmy Tucker did his best to maintain his composure following a disappointing 38-15 district loss to undefeated Pleasant Hill.
“I want to address the seniors,” Tucker said, as many of the eight seniors on the 4-6 team huddled together, tears streaming down their faces. “I've never been as proud of a group of seniors as I am of you.”
Tucker was all but abandoned by a class that started with 40-some underclassmen and ended with the eight seniors he was addressing at midfield at damp Pleasant Hill.
“You guys mean so much to me, to this program. I can't thank you enough.”
While the senior class on this year's team was small, the underclassmen could help energize a program that features a bright future.
“I hate to play like this, in the biggest game of the season,” said sophomore quarterback Kellen Holland, who was 20 of 37 for 182 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions. “I played a bad game. Our defense didn't do anything, and we lost our last game and have to say goodbye to the seniors.
“It's like Coach said, they meant so much to this team – they meant everything to me and all the other underclassmen. We came over here tonight thinking we were going to get the win, and we didn't play well enough.
“Pleasant Hill is a good team, and we needed to play a lot better than we did tonight to win this one.”
After a scoreless first period that was plagued by electrical problems which caused the scoreboard to malfunction, the 10-0 Roosters put up 14 second-quarter points. They tacked on 17 in a third period that was delayed several minutes following an injury to Roosters running back Mason Hertzog, who was taken off the field on a stretcher with his helmet taped to a body board.
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