Grain Valley gets another crack at Raytown South.
With their 54-0 win Friday night over visiting Kansas City East, the Eagles (7-3) advanced to face Ray-South in the Class 4 District 6 semifinals next Friday. The Cardinals handed the Eagles a 32-7 season-ending loss when the teams met in the 2015 playoffs.
“We had a chance to see them play Raytown because they played on Thursday (last week), with (them in mind) as a possible district opponent,” Grain Valley football coach David Allie said minutes after Friday’s victory. “But we haven’t looked at any film, we haven’t broken anything down. We just know that they’re going to be fast. They’re pretty good-sized. They’re well-coached.”
The Eagles will face the Cardinals (6-4) at the same site of last season’s defeat: Raytown South High School. Because the Cardinals “didn’t treat us very well” when the teams met in 2015, the Eagles must go there and play well said Allie, who led Ray-South to a Class 5 state runner-up finish in 2008.
Senior Jake Halphin, who contributed a 20-yard fumble return for a touchdown to Friday’s rout, is expecting “a tough game.”
“We’ve got to play as a team,” Halphin said. “If we play as one, we have a shot. We’ve got to see how Ray-South matches up against us. We’ve got to put the right guys in and get everyone excited for the game.”
Junior Ethan Macoubrie, who contributed a first-quarter pick-six Friday, believes the Eagles will be ready.
“It was definitely a hard loss, so I think we’re going to be really focused during practice this upcoming week,” Macoubrie said. “And I think we’re going to come out with the mindset that this is definitely going to be a tough game.”
Allie, Macoubrie and Halphin agreed that being focused was key to the win that set up the rematch.
“Football breaks down to a pretty simple game – you block, you tackle,” Allie said. “I’ve been telling them go as fast as they can from point A to point B, 100 percent to the whistle and have fun. You can throw records out the window; it’s a district game. You’ve got to come out, perform, play your best. That’s what we tried to preach all week.”
Offensively, the Eagles performed well enough against East (2-8) to score on five of their six first-half possessions. Those scoring drives, combined with Macoubrie’s interception return for a touchdown, helped Grain Valley build a 41-0 halftime lead.
In the first quarter, Grain Valley scored on Michael Marquez’s 1-yard plunge, Tate Collum’s 15-yard pass to Macoubrie, Caleb Krell’s 2-yard run and Macoubrie’s interception. Mitchell Alexander had a 28-yard scoring run and Nate Chaiprathum’s two field goals.
Wolfgang Clapper’s 3-yard TD run made it 47-0 Grain Valley with 5:13 left in the third quarter. Halphin’s scoop-and-score and Dylan Richard’s extra-point kick with 2:58 left in the fourth quarter finished the scoring.