GRUNDY CENTER — East Buchanan delivered a staggering early blow Friday.
Grundy Center delivered them all night.
East Buchanan picked off a pass on the Spartans’ first possession and turned it into points, but Grundy Center then reeled off 42 unanswered points for a 42-22 Class A, District 7 football victory.
After spotting the Bucs (2-2) that lead, the Spartans’ running game took over, beginning on the next series when freshman Logan Knaack broke around left end and went 71 yards unscathed to the end zone. The extra point by Cale Hendricks was true and Grundy Center trailed 8-7.
Knaack accounted for two more scores as he dominated the edge of the defense with touchdown scampers of 36 and 62 yards on his way to 251 yards on just 11 totes before exiting the game after three quarters.
“At the start of the game we thought we could get to the outside,” Knaack said. “We got hit right in the mouth early on, but we never panic. We knew we could score and when we got that first one (his 71-yarder) it just boosted the whole team, especially our offensive line’s confidence.
“Once our line got into it they had a lot of fun and that made it easier for our running game.”
The power up front also created passing lanes for quarterback Hendricks, who connected with Austin Knaack from 29 yards out for a 28-8 lead.
“We felt good about our chances of scoring even after they scored first,” Grundy Center coach Brent Thoren said. “We showed that on the very next play after they took the lead.
“We had a lot of guys make big plays tonight and we have a good problem of having a lot of talent on this team. We wanted to get up and get going early and our line did a nice job making holes. We always want to be on the attack. We found the sledding a little tough up the middle, but they gave us the perimeter and we took that.
“We had a great game from Logan, who is a gifted and smart kid. He is going to be going places.”
The Buccaneers scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns. Nolan Meyer paced the Bucs with a pair of late scores and rushed for 101 yards.
Grundy Ctr. 42, East Buch. 22
East Buchanan 8 0 0 14 — 22
Grundy Center 14 21 7 0 — 42
EB — James Mossman 3 run (Adam Hackett run)
GC — Logan Knaack 71 run (Cale Hendricks kick)
GC — Will Grames 13 run (Hendricks kick)
GC — Grames 16 run (Hendricks kick)
GC — Austin Knaack 29 pass from Hendricks (Hendricks kick)
GC — L. Knaack 36 run (Hendricks kick)
GC — L. Knaack 62 run (Hendricks kick)
EB — Nolan Meyer 2 run (Meyer run)
EB — Meyer 5 run (run failed)
First downs 12 15
Rushes-yards 47-199 36-363
Passing yards 71 75
Comp-att-int 4-10-0 7-11-2
Return yards 68 29
Punts-avg. 4-40.2 1-28.0
Fumbles-lost 4-1 5-2
Penalties-yards 6-59 6-58
EAST BUCHANAN — Cole Bowden 4-13, James Mossman 10-57, Kaden Brockmeyer 10-35, Nolan Meyer 18-101, Foster Hazen 1-0, Adam Hackett 1-2, Sebastian Beatty 1-3.
GRUNDY CENTER — Austin Knaack 5-30, Cale Hendricks 7-9, Logan Knack 11-251, Will Grames 7-38, Caleb Kuiper 6-35.
EAST BUCHANAN — TJ Lau 4-9-0, 71 yards, N. Meyer 0-1-0.
GRUNDY CENTER — Hendricks 5-8-1, 73 yards, L. Knaack 2-3-0, 2 yards.
EAST BUCHANAN — Nathan Schmitt 3-69, Meyer 1-2.
GRUNDY CENTER — A. Knaack 3-50, Tanner Phillips 1-minus 2, Grames 2-24, Travis Kuester 1-3.