Harrisonville tops Grain Valley to win district

By Michael Smith The Examiner
Posted: November 5, 2016 - 12:39 AM

Just when it seemed like the momentum might be swinging to Grain Valley’s side, Harrisonville delivered a gut punch to the Eagles from which they couldn’t recover.

Dylan Richards made a 22-yard field goal to cut Grain Valley’s deficit to 12-10 with 1:09 remaining in the first half in Friday’s Class 4 District 6 championship game.

But Harrisonville senior running back Morgan Selemaea provided a permanent momentum shift when he returned the kickoff 72 yards for the score. The Wildcats went on to score 21 unanswered points to topple Grain Valley 33-10 and advance to the state quarterfinals.

Selemaea was a big part of ending the Eagles’ season. He carried the ball 21 times for 176 yards and two scores, including a 65-yard backbreaker late in the fourth quarter.

But it wasn’t just his performance that doomed Grain Valley. Special teams miscues also caused things to unravel for the Eagles. Backed up near their own end zone, quarterback Tate Collum was back to punt at the Grain Valley 1. The snap was low and Collum was tackled in the end zone for a safety by Nathan Kreimeyer to make it 20-10.

Selemaea had yet another big return to the Eagles’ 3-yard line but it was called back to the Grain Valley 13 because of a block in the back. It didn’t matter though. On a fourth-and-goal from the 1, Selemaea was able to get around the left corner to waltz in for the score and a 17-point cushion.

“Unfortunately, sometimes it comes down to which team makes the fewest mistakes and we made them tonight,” Grain Valley coach David Allie said. “Special teams mistakes – whoever wins that battle wins the game, and that’s what happened tonight.”

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