Grundy notched their third straight win Friday night when they downed the Cumberland County Jets 30-21. Even though the Jets only had one win on the year they made it a battle and threatened late but a couple of key interceptions late saved the win for the Jackets. Grundy improved to 4-5 overall and they remain 2-2 in the district going into the final game.
“We preached to our guys all week that records can be deceiving. Cumberland played a great game. They’re physical and anytime you’ve got a no huddle offense that throws it all the time they’re always just a knockout punch away. Our kids responded well to it. We played great. It was a great atmosphere and thanks for all our fans that came. The kids did a great job and I’m proud of them,” said Coach Nick Bryant.
The Jackets opened the scoring in the opening two minutes as Schylar Burgess broke loose on a 66 yard run. Dylan Cleek ran in the two point conversion and Grundy was up 8-0 at the 10:34 mark of the first quarter.
The Jets responded before the quarter was out with their air attack. They scored on a 76 yard pass and kicked the extra point with 2:29 left in the quarter. They kicked the extra point and Grundy’s lead was cut to one 8-7.
Cumberland would post the next score with 10:50 left in the second as they hit on a nine yard pass. A kick gave them a 14-8 lead.
That seemed to fire the Jackets back up. Houston Mainord hit Logan Meeks for a 32 yard touchdown pass with 5:42. Kevin Stewart booted the extra point and Grundy took the lead back at 15-14. Less than a minute later after a turnover Mainord ran in another score from the seven yard line. Dylan Cleek ran in the two point conversion and Grundy took a 23-14 lead to the half.
The Jets would knock on the door again and at the 9:07 mark of the third they struck on a 66 yard touchdown pass. The extra point cut Grundy’s lead to 23-21.
Battling back and forth neither team would score again until Grundy drove and scored on a Michael Nolan two yard run with 5:54 left in the game. Stewart added the kick and Grundy had a 30-23 margin.
The Jets spread and tricky passing offense wasn’t done and made two more drives threatening to score. The first was killed by Dylan Cleek’s interception around the goal line at 4:32. The second was stopped with less than two minutes to go by Trevor Hampton’s interception also at the goal line.
“Our kids have responded well. We had a tough part of the schedule early on. We had a couple of poor performances. I’m just super proud of the way they’ve responded to the adversity. They’ve done a great job and hopefully we can sneak into the playoffs with a win next week and surprise some people,” complimented Bryant.
Michael Nolan was a beast on offense rushing for 228 yards on 29 carries with a TD. Schylar Burgess exploded for 101 yards on five carries and a TD. Dylan Cleek gained 52 yards on seven carries. Logan Meeks picked up 17 on one.
Houston Mainord passed for 118 yards on 9 of 17 and a score. He also ran for 4 yards and a TD. Logan Meeks led the receivers with three catches for 52 yards and a TD. Trevor Hampton had four for 28. Schylar Burgess caught one for 22 and Michael Nolan had one for 16. Offensively Grundy had 524 total yards.
Tyler Land led the defense with six solo tackles and one for a loss. Michael Nolan had three solos, two for a loss and a sack. Logan Meeks made five solos and intercepted a pass. Dylan Cleek notched four solos and picked off two passes. Terrince Bramhall had three solos and one for a loss. Trevor Hampton made three solos and intercepted a pass. Greg McDaniel had three stops. Jesse Goodman made two stops and a fumble recovery.
Grundy hosts Notre Dame Friday night for senior night. A win locks Grundy into the playoffs and could see the two teams have a rematch in Chattanooga the next week. A Jacket loss means hoping for a wildcard berth and a likely trip to Upperman in the opening round, if there aren’t upsets Friday that knocked Grundy out of the playoff spot.
“It’s a huge game with Notre Dame next week. They’re a powerhouse but we can play with them. Our kids will be ready for them. If we don’t get the win we’ll be on that bubble and will have to wait until Saturday morning to see if we make it. If we get the win we’re guaranteed to be in,” said Bryant after Friday’s game.
The Irish are 6-3 on the season and 3-1 in the district. They have wins over East Ridge, Chattanooga Christian, Boyd Buchanan, Bledsoe County, Sequatchie County and Coalfield. They have lost to Knoxville Catholic, Signal Mountain and Polk County. A win guarantees Grundy a playoff spot as it would put the district in a three- way tie between them, Sequatchie and Notre Dame. A Grundy loss puts things in the hands of wildcard spots and tiebreakers to get in the post season.
If the fans want a guaranteed spot in the post season they’ll need to show up in force Friday night and add hundreds of voices to the 12th man. It’s also senior night where all seniors from fall sports will be recognized before the game. What more do you need to GET OUT TO THE GAME!