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Examiner
  • Eagles fall at home

  • About the only thing Grain Valley football fans had to cheer about at Saturday afternoon’s homecoming contest against Excelsior Springs was the induction of former coach Forrest Rovello’s 2001 football team into the school’s Hall of Fame.

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  • About the only thing Grain Valley football fans had to cheer about at Saturday afternoon’s homecoming contest against Excelsior Springs was the induction of former coach Forrest Rovello’s 2001 football team into the school’s Hall of Fame.
    After that, it was all Tigers as they scored 19 unanswered first-quarter points and rolled to a 47-19 victory.
    “To win a football game, you have to be effective offensively, defensively and have good special teams play,” Grain Valley coach Jimmy Tucker said. “And we didn’t do very well in any of those areas.
    “We dug that early hole and then played a pretty good second quarter – holding them scoreless and scoring a touchdown – but they came out and had the big third quarter and that was pretty much the game,” he added. “I don't want this team to give up on me or themselves. We have (undefeated) Oak Grove at our place next week, and I'm hoping the boys show some life and bounce back and play a strong game against one of our biggest rivals.”
    Four minutes into the game, the Tigers – who are coached by former Fort Osage High School all-state linebacker Andy Sims – recorded a safety. Ten seconds later Bryan Bell returned the ensuing free kick 66 yards for a touchdown.
    It appeared the first half would be a rout until Grain Valley's Dominick Macoubrie hit David Hudgens for a 15-yard touchdown. Evan Velasquez's extra point made it 19-7 at halftime and the Eagles seemed to have new life.
    A 28-point third quarter shot down any hopes of a comeback victory as the Eagles could manage just two more scores – a 5-yard touchdown run by Brice Quinn and a Macoubrie to Quinn 4-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
    While the game certainly wasn’t Hall of Fame worthy, the 2001 Eagles football team provided longtime Grain Valley fans with many memorable moments.
    That 10-3 team made history when it upset heavily favored St. Pius X 24-16 in a Class 2 state quarterfinal matchup that was featured in a Metro Sports special that took viewers inside the huddles of each team.
    “They were supposed to beat us pretty good,” Rovello said, grinning, “and we had a great afternoon. Jared Pinkerton caught three touchdown passes from Danny Pagel and we played some solid defense. That was one of our best teams.”
    Many of the players from that team attended the Hall of Fame ceremony, including Pinkerton, who was also the Eagles’ kicker.
    “I caught those three touchdowns, but I made it interesting by missing two extra points and a field goal.”
    Upon hearing that comment, Rovello quipped, “Thanks, we really appreciated that extra drama.”
    That Eagles team went on to fall to Warsaw in the semifinals.
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