Grundy traveled to McMinn Central Friday night for the opening round of the TSSAA playoffs. If the game had gone the way the opening drive did for the Yellow Jackets they might have been playing again. Unfortunately, it didn’t and Grundy fell 43-14 to the Chargers to close out the season at 5-6.
Quarterback Houston Mainord was rushed for time all night and it was partly to do with a senior leader not being on the field during the game.
“We had an unfortunate accident in pregame with Terrince Bramhall becoming injured. It really hurt us as the game went on from his leadership on the line. They were able to put more pressure than usual on us. Our kids adjusted well and they did real well but they were just able to get more pressure on us offensively than we would have liked. They did a good job of different stunts.
“They’re real athletic. They had some real good running backs and they’re real physical up front. They’re in the top 10 in the Chattanooga area but I don’t think they’re as good as Notre Dame and Signal Mountain. I’m sure they’ll win another game in the playoffs,” said Coach Nick Bryant.
Grundy drove the field on the opening drive and scored on a 27-yard pass from Houston Mainord to Logan Meeks. The pass for two failed but Grundy led 6-0.
The Chargers would reel off the next 43 points of the contest leading 7-6 at the end of the first quarter, 21-6 at halftime and 43-6 at the end of the third.
The Jackets posted their final score when Mainord hit Trent Hampton for a 5-yard TD pass and Trey Hampton for two.
Mainord led the Jacket offense despite being pressured all night with 203 yards while completing 29 of 40 passes. He had 2 TDs and 3 interceptions. Logan Meeks caught 11 passes for 84 yards and a TD and ran once for 13 yards. Trey Hampton caught 7 passes for 42 yards. Trent Hampton had 4 for 34 and a score. Christian Brown pulled down 4 for 21 yards. Alex Nunley caught one for 16 yards and ran twice for 13. Greg McDaniel rushed 7 times for 11 yards and caught a pass for 4. James McDaniel carried once for 5 and caught a pass for 4. Nathan Carreto rushed once for 2.
Gregory McDaniel led the defense with 9 solo tackles, 2 assists, 3 tackles for a loss and a sack. Steven Baskin notched 3 solos, 2 assists, 2 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks. Jack Rice picked up 3 solos and 4 assists. Andrew Sanders and Eldon Posey made 4 solos and one assist each. Christian Brown made 4 solos and 2 assists. Nathan Carreto and Kevin Castro made 4 tackles each.
Coach Bryant reflected on the season.
“We weren’t expected to do much this year and that’s what I believe made our kids play harder. We were picked fifth by some and sixth by others for our district. I think that really helped our kids play with a chip on their shoulder. It motivated us as a team to get better. We finished third in the district only getting beat by powerhouses Signal Mountain and Notre Dame.
“So, I’m very proud of the way the kids played. I told the underclassmen after the game to look up to the seniors because that’s the way it’s supposed to be like by the time they’re seniors. They lead the team all year. They hung out after practice, before practice and they were the true definition of a team. It seemed like every week we played there was someone different making plays and having that leadership.
“It was a fun year for our kids. We weren’t ready for it to be over and they weren’t. It was the most fun group of kids we’ve be around and they showed it too. They really enjoyed it. It was the best group of parents we had this year. They worked their tails off and got the kids a lot of things this year. I really enjoyed it,” said Bryant.