by John Unrein
The Grain Valley Eagles 36-7 win against the visiting Grandview Bulldogs on Friday, November 8th was significant in many regards. It was third time out of four matchups over the last two years that the Eagles Football team was victorious against their Suburban Conference Blue Division opponent. Accumulating wins against an adversary that knows you that well is no easy task.
Grandview touted significant size and speed that the Eagles had to contend with and overcome. Grain Valley’s black shirt defense was up to the task. They kicked down the door and gnawed off the hinges for good measure with their efforts.
The Eagles defense under the direction of Coordinator Pete Carpino only allowed one score and provided Grain Valley’s offense with five additional possessions. Senior Defensive Back William Lanear and Junior Linebacker Hunter Newsom each intercepted passes returned for big gains. Senior Defensive Back Triston Hartwig and a flock of Eagles Defensive Lineman each recovered a fumble. Finally, was Newsom and the entire right side of the Eagles defense that collapsed Grandview’s offense at their own one-yard line for a safety at the 11:55 mark of the second quarter.
Other defensive standouts included Junior Defensive Lineman Donovan McBride and Senior Linebacker Seth Dankenbring. McBride sacked Grandview Senior Quarterback Dae’Mond Turner at the 6:57 mark of the third quarter that assured a Bulldog punt on fourth down.
Dankenbring was relentless by the scheme of Carpino’s defense in not allowing Turner to have free reign when rolling outside the pocket. Dankenbring would vacate his drop-in coverage in the middle of the Eagles defense and attack downhill at 45 degree angle. His pursuit narrowed the window for the quarterback to throw with the sideline acting a restrictive boundary as Dankenbring closed in.
The Eagles special teams’ units were also considerable in the blowout win. Head Football Coach David Allie and his staff decided to roll the dice with an onside kick that was successfully recovered by Senior Gavin Oyler at the 11:31 mark of the second quarter. Oyler secured the football while sliding in front of the Grandview would be receiver. That was not Oyler’s only important contribution as he provided airtight coverage at safety filling in for the injured Cavon Brooks.
The second special teams’ turnover recovery by Grain Valley and the seventh of the game overall pilfered by the Eagles would come at the 5:59 mark of the third quarter as the Bulldog kickoff return squad coughed up the football on their own 30-yard line.
Allie could not hide his smile when discussing his team’s win.
“Looking back to our week two win against them (Grandview), it was a 6-3 narrow win for us. They had a different quarterback in this matchup, which was scary because he’s elusive in that he can both run and throw. We had to stop the run first and had that schemed well with Coach Carpino. The secondary also stepped up big in covering the athletes they have,” Allie said.
“Parker (Bosserman) was also cool as a cucumber tonight filling in for Cole (Keller). They were foaming at the mouth over there during warmups which didn’t bother us because we know who he (Bosserman) is as an athlete and competitor. Bosserman managed the game nicely in delivering the football well against their man coverage.”
Bosserman would gain 45 yards on the ground and score two rushing touchdowns. The Eagles signal caller’s first scamper to pay dirt would come on a shotgun mesh read in which Grandview’s defensive end crashed down the line of scrimmage leaving Bosserman open to accelerate down the Grain Valley sideline. Furthermore, Bosserman would also score on a 15-yard quarterback sweep with 9:09 left in the third quarter. The Eagles would go up 23-7 and not look back.
Bosserman would also go 4 for 10 through the air for 115 yards and 2 touchdown passes. The 40 percent completion rate is somewhat deceiving as two sure completions were dropped on play action pop passes prior to Newsom hauling in the third one for a 16-yard touchdown reception in the first half.
Newsom’s grab and Allie’s insistence as a play caller were meaningful in loosening up Grandview’s run defense. The play action pop pass is designed to have a running back or slot receiver sprint to an area one yard past the inside linebacker’s pre-snap depth. This area on the field was wide open as Grandview’s linebackers were determined to fill downhill in trying to stop Grain Valley from running between the tackles.
Bosserman would also hit Sophomore Wide Receiver Logan Pratt for a 45-yard touchdown pass on a fade route with 6:03 left in the third quarter. The pass came on an influential 3rd and 8 for the Eagles and helped them start to put the game away.
A team first approach was taken by Bosserman with his post-game comments after his first varsity win as a quarterback.
“I feel like with the design of our offense, it allows anyone to be successful and that happened to be me tonight. We didn’t stop pounding them with the run which set things up for us. The play action pass would be part of that equation,” Bosserman said.
“It seems like next week we will be playing Harrisonville at home. Tough history with that team. We will be up for that battle.”
The last significant impact of Grain Valley’s win is that they will host the Class 4 District 7 Football Championship Game on Friday, November 15th at 7:00 within the confines of Moody Murray Stadium. Grain Valley and Harrisonville have a past of playing physical games as both teams were apart of the Missouri River Valley Conference prior to the Eagles joining the Suburban Conference last year. Pride, bragging rights, and advancing in the State Playoffs will be on the line.