Eagles get revenge

Steve Bubalo/PrepsKC

By Steve Bubalo PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: October 28, 2016 - 11:30 PM

Grain Valley came out of the locker room at halftime with a 13-0 lead over Raytown South in its district semifinal game Friday night, and they would receive the ball to start the half. With a pretty strong wind at their back, head coach David Allie thought that might be the time to go down the field with the passing game.

Or not.

The Eagles grind out a near 7-minute drive consisting of 14 plays - 11 of which were runs - that was capped by a quarterback sneak from Tate Callum on fourth down from the Cardinal 1. The two-point conversion was good, making it 21-0, and putting the Eagles in complete control on their way to a 35-14 victory.

“We had the wind and we thought about taking some shots, but we were able to run the ball and run the clock,” Allie said. “Those big hogs up front did a good job blocking.”

Added Callum, “We had to attack them. We wasted a good amount of time. To punch it in was a big confidence boost.”

On the ensuing Raytown South drive, Kole Wagener stopped what was the Cardinals best drive to that point in the game with an interception. Seven plays later, Collum found the end zone again on a 16-yard run to make it 28-0, as the Eagles were dominating on both sides of the ball.

“The defensive line was awesome,” Allie said. “We rallied to the ball and tackled well. To hold a fast-paced offense to zero points until the fourth quarter, my hats off to the defense. They set up a score and got a score. It was a total team effort. The kids were dialed in.”

The defensive score came a couple of drives later, after the Cardinals had finally gotten in the end zone, when Taylor Whittle’s pressure on the quarterback forced a bad throw. The ball fluttered high in the air long enough for Ethan Macoubrie to intercept it and return it for a touchdown and a 35-7 lead.

Macoubrie was also a part of one of the biggest offensive plays of the night.

Collum put the Eagles on the board first, a 3-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, but both offenses struggled for a few drives before a fumbled handoff by the Cardinals gave Grain Valley good field position on its own 49.

After completing a third-and-21 on a perfectly run screen pass to Caleb Krell, Collum roled to his right two plays later and fired one up near the corner of the end zone to Macoubrie, who used his tall frame to outjump a Cardinal defender for the 17-yard touchdown catch.

“I had the option to run it if I could, and that was my first thought,” Collum said. “I saw Ethan had two guys on him but I know about his height. He went up and got it.”

Collum and Macoubrie hooked up several times on the night, including a few times for crucial third down conversions.

“He’s a sharp route runner and we have our timing down,” Collum said of the chemistry he and Macoubrie have formed. “That’s hard for the defense to stop.”

Added Allie of the game plan through the air, “We knew speed-wise we weren’t going to be able to match them, so we broke off some routes. That was a heck of a catch on the touchdown by Ethan. The short passes were good for us.”

Raytown South was able to score a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns, as quarterback Landon Montgomery found Jaron Burks for a pair of touchdown passes.

The Cardinals finished the season 6-5.

Grain Valley (8-3) will now prepare for Harrisonville next week in the district championship game, which will be another road contest. The Eagles defeated the Wildcats 19-7 earlier in the season, holding down an offense that has been putting up huge numbers the last few weeks.

“They’ve got it going,” Allie said of Harrisonville. “They have a great running back and both their lines are physical. It’s always hard to beat a team twice. At this point it’s all about defense and who makes the fewest mistakes. But they’ve got to prepare for us, too. We’re playing pretty well right now.”