Harrisonville shuts out Grain Valley
By Michael Smith The Examiner
The Grain Valley football team connected with an early haymaker when the Eagles recovered a fumble on Harrisonville’s second play from scrimmage.
After Brenton Leighow missed a 32-yard field goal on Grain Valley’s first drive, the Wildcats punched the Eagles right in the mouth and they went down hard. Harrisonville scored on its next seven possessions, mostly using a rushing attack that amassed 256 yards on its way to a 42-0 drubbing of the Eagles at home in the Class 4 District 6 semifinals.
The Wildcat backfield trio of Wyatt Schenker, Mateo Gonzalez and Parker Peck, who combined for just 609 rushing yards in 10 games, gained more than one-third of that total with 230 yards on Friday. Those three were the beneficiary of a dominant offensive line, which kept the Eagles defense out of the backfield for most of the game.
“They had a couple of pullback slice plays that killed us a couple of times,” Grain Valley coach David Allie said. “We flew out, then they cut back underneath on us. They did surprise us unfortunately.”
It was all part of the game plan as Harrisonville coach Brent Maxwell went from more of a pass-style offense to a run-heavy one against the Eagles.
“We have traditionally been more of a spread-type team all year,” he said. “Our intention wasn’t to avoid that all night, but we wanted to catch them off guard with the run game. We had a lot of success running the split-back veer and hopefully we will be able to get back to some of the option-style running plays we used to use.”
On offense, the Eagles weren’t able to get much going as they totaled just 162 total yards on offense. They reached the red zone just twice – once after the Harrisonville turnover in the first quarter when they reached the Wildcat 15. The other was was late in the fourth when running back Eric Backer got the Eagles to the 19 on a 10-yard run. But by then the turbo clock was on, and the visitors ran out of time.
While the Eagles had a few key injuries that played a key part in the lopsided loss, Allie said he had to credit the Harrisonville (10-1) defense for shutting out his team.
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