Kearney blanks Grandview

By Marc Bowman PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: September 2, 2017 - 12:05 AM

A stifling defense and a pair of touchdown runs by junior Patrick Connery led Kearney over Grandview, 21-0, in a Suburban Blue district battle of the Bulldogs.

Connery’s 27-yard rush off tackle broke a scoreless tie with 7:49 left in the third quarter for a 6-0 Kearney advantage.

“We’ve been performing what we do in practice,” Connery said. “I just saw the cut-back lane and everyone executed their blocks on the back side and everything worked out great.”

Connery broke through again with 16 seconds left in the quarter on a three-yard run and junior quarterback Dakota Ah-Mu added a two-point conversion, increasing the lead to 14-0.

“It was a confidence boost and reassurance that we’d be doing good,” Connery said.

Defenses prevailed in a scoreless first half spent mostly on the Grandview side.

“This is the second week in a row that our defense has played with, well, passion just doesn’t describe it,” said Grandview coach Jeremie Picard. “They’re playing so hard and they’re playing really well. In the first half, two different times we’re backed away into our red zone and we come away with a turnover.”

A pair of Kearney drives were snuffed out by interceptions inside the five-yard-line and a late second-quarter drive failed on a fourth-and-goal sack inside the ten.

“I felt we were in the purple zone, we needed to punch it in,” said Kearney coach Josh Gray. ”I have a lot of faith in our offense, a lot faith in our offensive coordinator.”

Kearney defense remained strong throughout as Grandview managed just three offensive snaps beyond their own 40-yard line. It was the second straight shutout for Kearney.

“It comes down to they’re pretty resilient and they take a lot of pride in what they do,” Gray said. “Some of our guys coming back from last year, they know what it does take and that leadership on the field is tremendous.”

“The best thing they did was bring varieties of pressure,” Picard said. “Their front seven, their front six or seven guys really did a heck of a job wreaking havoc right at the line of scrimmage and getting through a lot of that young front.”

The discipline for Kearney helped them break through in the second half.

“We were disciplined,” Connery said. “We knew exactly what we needed to come out and do and we finally executed it and we did it.”

“We talked about discipline last week, came out and fired up really well, I thought,” Gray said. “It’s that continued discipline you’ve got to have on the field, week in and week out, doing your job. We’re still figuring that out, but I think they saw tonight that being the disciplined dog is going to be, obviously, ends up being on the good side.”

A late touchdown strike from Ah-Mu to senior Logan Hachman capped the scoring.

Kearney improved to 2-1 overall and 2-0 in district play, and will travel to Winnetonka next Friday, hoping to continue their disciplined play.

“The difference of the tales of the two halves, offensive, knowing that we can do it and that it’s again, the discipline. They’ve got to understand that the second half that was easily the same as the first half if we’d have just been disciplined and did our job and play what we practiced.”

Grandview fell to 1-2 overall and 0-2 in district play, and will travel to Chrisman next Friday.

“One of the things that I’m frustrated about is, our talent level is extremely high,” Picard said. “But, we’re really young. There’re a lot of sophomores on the field. We’re a young team. When you meet up with Platte County and they’re just a good, sound program. When you meet up with Kearney and they’re just a good, sound program. They’re ahead of us when it comes to the discipline.”

Still, Picard has high hopes for improvement of his young squad.

“It’s cliché, but you know they say it’s never as good as it looks and it’s never quite as bad,” he said. “But, we probably had what felt like countless mistakes offensively. It’s just about us growing week by week. We shoot ourselves in the foot so stinking often that you wonder, if we didn’t do that, where would we be if we could just clean up those mistakes.”