by John Unrein
Junior Wide Receiver Parker Bosserman asserted with confidence that his team would work on the details in limiting penalties and mistakes that plagued the Grain Valley Eagles Football team after their loss to the Platte County Pirates in their week four matchup of the season. His team did just that in their 41-20 victory over the visiting Winnetonka Griffins on Thursday, September 26th. The win against a Suburban Conference opponent was as impressive as Bosserman’s faith in what his team would do.
The Eagles churned out 308 yards on the ground along with 5 rushing touchdowns in route to their win. Game planning and coaching were a part of Grain Valley’s success as they used more double tight end sets against the Griffins 3-4 defense in making them defend two extra gaps at the line of scrimmage against the run.
This put Winnetonka in a quandary for much of the game in figuring out how to stop the quarterback option off jet sweep. The outside linebacker for the Griffins had to decide if he was going to honor the motion and mesh of the wide receiver on jet sweep coming at him, or to stay at home and not widen due to the threat of the quarterback keeping the football and running inside of him.
Junior Quarterback Cole Keller was the maestro who got to determine the key read on what to do with the football on jet sweep option for the Eagles. His decision making was continually accurate. It led to the signal caller amassing 110 yards rushing and 2 rushing touchdowns. Keller was pleased with his performance after the game.
“We knew coming into this game that adding two tight ends might give us an advantage by alignment. When we add jet motion it puts their outside backer in a tough position. He had to decide if he was going to defend the receiver coming at him or stay at home with the tight end,” Keller said.
“Most of the time he chose to defend the slot receiver, and it gives me a good running lane due to the blocking of our (offensive) line and magic happens.”
Senior Linebacker Seth Dankenbring likes to get his hands on the football and enjoys contact. He got to do both more than usual against the Griffins when he opened the game at running back. Dankenbring ran with leverage and burst, getting his pads underneath the defenders and not hesitating in his assigned path with the football.
“It’s a good change. Most of the time I’m running down people and tonight I got to run from them. Our line did a good job tonight. My philosophy was run hard and don’t go down,” Dankenbring said.
Neither Keller or Dankenbring were surprised by Bosserman’s assurance that their team would bounce back in the manner they did.
“Parker and I have been close our whole lives. That dude is undersized compared to your typical receiver. He’s a gamer though. You can see it on the field in that his routes are great, he rarely drops a ball, and he runs hard when he gets the football. He loves the game and this team,” Keller said.
Bosserman would contribute with actions as much as his words. He was good for 51 yards on six receptions and a touchdown grab. Equal to his stats were the blocking he displayed on the field in helping to secure some big runs for the Eagles.
Grain Valley Head Football Coach David Allie was glad to see the effort put forth by this team during a short week of practice come to fruition. The Eagles played on Thursday night due to the threat of severe storms in the area the following day. Allie was pleased with Bosserman’s quote from the week before.
“His quote is what we worry about all week. It’s about attention to detail. We brought it to the kids as what are you going to do individually to make us better this week? The kids did a great job of focusing all week long,” Allie said.
“We got the look we wanted with what we come out in offensively and stayed in it. The big nasties up front did a pretty good job of blocking. Dankenbring and Goulden did a good job of hitting the hole off tackle. Bosserman and Pratt outside as well in taking advantage of what they gave us. The big thing tonight was we held on to the football and tackled well.”
The Eagles defense was equally as prepared for the task of limiting the Griffins offense. They held Winnetonka to only 6 points through three quarters of play. Grain Valley’s secondary aligned with inside leverage to take away the slant and hitch within the Griffin’s quick passing game.
The strategy was successful despite two late forth quarter touchdowns by Winnetonka against a beat-up Grain Valley secondary dealing with injuries.
The Eagles will next turn their attention to the Raytown Blue Jays, who they will travel to face on Friday, October 4th at 7pm.
“The good thing about playing on Thursday night due to the severe weather warnings is we get to watch film tomorrow and the kids get a Saturday off. The extra day of rest is huge,” Allie said.
“Raytown has a dynamic quarterback and offense. They are typically big and fast. We will head to their place and it will be a battle. The last two years we’ve played them, they got out to a huge start and we had to play catch up. Instead, we’re going to have to do what we did tonight. Control the football as well as tackle and not give up the big play in helping us to be successful.”
Junior Wide Receiver Parker Bosserman looks for open space after a reception.
Photo credit: John Overstreet
Junior Quarterback Cole Keller and Senior Linebacker Seth Dankenbring.
Photo credit: Valley News staff