Grain Valley outlasts Excelsior Springs

By Colby Gordon The Examiner
Posted: October 6, 2017 - 11:57 PM

Tate Collum was going to get a first down, and it didn’t matter if he had to drag the whole defense with him.

Collum, Grain Valley’s senior quarterback and punter, took off on a fake punt on fourth-and-8 with the Eagles clinging to a 14-12 lead late in the third quarter Friday at Excelsior Springs.

Momentum seemed on the hosts side as they had scored minutes earlier and looked poised to get the ball back, but Collum had other ideas.

Encountering a handful of defenders four yards short of the first down, Collum kept his legs churning, broke multiple tackles and eventually picked up 15 yards, swinging energy back to the Eagles as they scored three plays later and eventually took a 27-12 Missouri River Valley Conference West win.

“I checked into a fake, but they had some guys that got to me pretty quickly, and I don’t know how many were on me,” said Collum, who finished with 118 yards passing and 48 yards rushing. “The thought that was running through my head was, ‘I need to get this first down.’ I just tried breaking the tackles, throwing the defenders off me, and I eventually spun away and went up the sideline and got the first down. I was determined to get the first down. We needed it.”

Grain Valley coach David Allie said Collum’s run was more impressive considering the rest of the team expected something different.

“We actually blocked it the other way,” he said, “but Tate just made stuff happen and that play was huge. Tate is just a warrior.”

While Collum’s play thwarted any ideas of an Excelsior Springs comeback, running back Caleb Krell did the bulk of Grain Valley’s work on offense.

Krell finished with 152 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 23 carries, gaining all of his yards on runs up the middle.

“I feel like the middle was open and our offensive line was able to block anybody that was there and the play just worked,” Krell said. “We thought that was something that might be open based on one of the formations we saw on film.”

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