by John Unrein
The Grain Valley Eagles Football team improved to a 7-3 record with a 46-12 victory over the visiting Raytown South Cardinals on Friday, November 1st. It was the second week in a row that the two teams had faced off against one another. Each side knew what the other was going to do and had to find a way to stop their opponent.
The Eagles were the first to find themselves on the scoreboard after a successful three and out stand by the defense and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown at the 10:55 mark of the first quarter.
Senior Defensive Back William Lanear eluded Cardinal blockers in his path to perfectly time getting his hands on the football off the punter’s foot. Lanear was also able to corral the football successfully on his way to the end zone.
Senior Kicker Jack Knust connected on the subsequent extra point try, and the Eagles never looked back as they took an early 7-0 lead.
Grain Valley’s defense continued to set a physical tone in the first half only allowing one Raytown South touchdown. Both Senior Linebacker Tanner Bailon and Junior Defensive Back Brayden Terry contributed tackles for loss in the first quarter. The Cardinals punted or turned the football over on five of their six first half possessions.
Raytown South attempted to get one on one matchups with Senior Wide Receiver Raevon Carter on the backside or single receiver side of trips formation. The Cardinals also tried getting him the football vertically or in the flat along the boundary by flooding levels of the Grain Valley defense.
Grain Valley’s pass rush and coverage efficiency was able to limit the success of the Cardinals passing game plan. Eagles Head Football Coach David Allie was pleased with the performance of his defense.
“From the get-go, we set the tone with the blocked punt for the score. That was awesome. The defense did a great job with the exception of one drive. They (the Cardinals) passed a little bit more then their ratio coming into the game of seventy percent pass and thirty percent run,” Allie said.
“Our guys got some turnovers and pressure on their quarterback. Their team is full of great athletes, including number one (Raevon Carter), who did a great job on the fade as well as their quarterback breaking contain against us on occasion. Overall, our defense did a great job and got off the field a lot tonight.”
The Eagles’ determination at the line of scrimmage on offense was also special. It was no mystery that Grain Valley was going to attempt to run through B gap from their first offensive possession of the game. The offensive line was up for the task of opening holes for Senior Running Back Jamore Goulden. Down blocking on trap and kick outs on halo running plays allowed for the Eagles to own the line of scrimmage and B gap due to execution.
Goulden would finish with 130 yards on 12 carries and 3 touchdowns. His contact balance at the linebacker and safety level of the Cardinal defense allowed him to bounce off or run through would be defenders for much of the game.
“I love my offensive line. They make what we do work. I wanted to run hard in a district game my senior year and remind everyone who I am,” Goulden said.
Goulden’s enthusiasm for his team’s win was matched by Junior Guard Jack Bailey and Senior Center Coleson Manade.
“Our performance tonight was about pad level and how we had them schemed. We ran to where they weren’t and got leverage on them with our blocks,” Bailey said.
Manade added, “We want to thank Coach Mike Tarrants tonight who couldn’t be here. He encourages us daily to assert our will on the opponent, and I feel we did that tonight.”
The Eagles also had two injury concerns during the game. Junior Quarterback Cole Keller went down on an awkward tackle from behind with 7:40 left in the second quarter. Keller favored his knee and was only able to put limited weight on it as he walked with support of his teammates to the Grain Valley sideline.
Senior Defensive Back Cavon Brooks was also injured and did not return. Brooks made a leverage tackle of a Cardinals wide receiver on the Eagles sideline in wrestling him to the ground with force. The weight of both players landed awkwardly on Brooks who appeared to have the air knocked out of him.
Junior Wide Receiver Parker Bosserman spelled Keller in his absence and performed well in leading the Eagles offense on short notice.
“Parker is a great player. The game was not too big for him tonight. We still have him throw the ball on occasion in practice and he throws the football on a couple of plays in our offense already,” Allie said.
“Bosserman is Mr. Utility and is cool as a cucumber. He plays offense, defense, and special teams. It would be nice to have our starting quarterback back because of what he means to our offense. However, if worst case scenario happens, we have confidence in Parker, and he came in a tough situation tonight and performed admirably.”
Grain Valley will next host the Grandview Bulldogs on Friday, November 8th at Moody Murray Stadium in a Class 4 District 7 playoff matchup. The Eagles narrowly defeated Grandview by a score of 6-3 during week two earlier this season.