Grain Valley doesn’t want to stop playing football any time soon.
The top seed in Class 4 District 6, the Eagles – fresh off an MRVC West title in the regular season – did what a No. 1 seed is supposed to do in the first round of the playoffs against an 8 seed Friday.
Grain Valley disposed of Kansas City Northeast 62-14 at Moody Murray Community Field for its sixth win in a row and to begin what they hope is a lengthy postseason run.
“You’re in the tournament now and it’s one-and-done,” Grain Valley coach David Allie said. “It doesn’t matter what the records are, who you’re playing or where, you have to come out and perform. Luckily, we came into the playoffs with momentum, so we want to build on that and keep that going.”
Grain Valley (8-2) started its scoring onslaught when quarterback Tate Collum connected with Ethan Macoubrie on a 55-yard touchdown pass.
Caleb Krell followed with a pair of 22-yard TD runs, and after Brady Rogers’ 11-yard interception return and Ethan Grasher’s 33-yard scoring jaunt, the Eagles led 35-0 late in the first quarter.
The rest of the game was a mere formality, one where the Eagles starters didn’t touch the field for the final three frames and allowed them to look to the future.
“We just want to keep improving as a team and go as far as we can,” senior tight end Ryan Brown said. “For us seniors it’s our last ride, so it would be great to keep playing for a long time. Something we haven’t accomplished is a district championship, so that’s our goal for right now, but we just take it week by week.”
Being the top seed in the district, the Eagles will play at home again next week against Nevada, and should they beat the Tigers, will host the district championship game Nov. 3.
“It’s great being at home,” Eagles defensive lineman Cameron Stone said. “Playing in front of your hometown where everybody gets to be there, it’s just fun.”
Grasher reached the end zone again from the 25, and the Eagles received touchdowns from Tanner Bailon (8-yard return of a blocked punt), Jamore Goulden (8-yard run) and Mason Guhse (5-yard run) to close our their scoring.
Perrion Burnett threw for a touchdown and ran for another to lead the Vikings (1-9).
Both Brown and Stone said the experience of playing for the Eagles is something that can’t be matched, another reason they want it to continue as long as possible.
“This program is awesome,” Brown said. “I love playing with these guys, and the coaches are amazing. Practices are even fun.”
Added Stone: “We take care of business when we need to and play around when we need to, too.”
Allie noted playoff football has his team's complete attention.
“We have a special group of senior leaders,” he said. “I have no doubt after watching this team this week in practice that they’ll keep focused and want to keep playing and keep the season alive.”