After a week off to heal up the Yellow Jackets played some of their best ball of the season giving Region 4 leader DeKalb County down to the wire. An interception killed a late Grundy drive that could have tied the game and sent it to overtime. In the end the Jackets fell 28-20 to the Tigers. Grundy fell to 1-6 overall and 1-2 in Region 4, Class 3A.
“Couldn’t be any prouder of the boys. We’ve had two weeks of hard practice. We had gravitated away from fundamentals and everybody does from time to time. We looked and said we had to get back to tackling and blocking. That’s what the coaches did and you could tell. We’ve been talking to their character a lot. These guys are nothing but heart and they’re still in there chopping.
“DeKalb County is a good football team and a contender for region champion. Most 1-5 teams don’t take the contender for the region championship down to the wire. We had the crowd on the edge of their seats. We’re going to learn from it. We’re going to get better,” said Coach Casey Tate.
Grundy got on the board first at 4:80 of the 1st quarter when James McDaniel broke loose on a 90 yard TD run. The run for 2 failed but Grundy led 6-0.
DeKalb would tie the game with 28 seconds to go in the quarter on a 15 yard run. They added a passing and a rushing touchdown before halftime to lead 21-6.
However the Jackets would sneak one in as time ran out on the second quarter when Ethan Nunley hit James McDaniel for a 70 yard pass and at halftime the score was 21-12.
The Tigers scored again at 8:29 of the 3rd quarter with an 8 yard pass and kicked the extra point to lead 28-12.
Kevin Castro would break loose on a 71 yard run on the following drive to score and Grundy added the two to make the score 21-20. The Tigers posted another score but couldn’t make the conversion and led 28-20. Grundy drove deep into Tiger territory and had a shot with around two minutes to go in the game but DeKalb picked off a Nunley pass to kill the drive and take the win.
James McDaniel had a career night leading the offense with 11 rushes for 178 yards and 3 receptions for 84 yards. Kevin Castro hit the century mark with five carries for 101 yards. Ethan Nunley made his return to the lineup with 11 rushes for 46 yards and completing 6 of 10 passes for 117 yards. Matt Underhill caught one pass for 14 yards. Travis Cunningham had a reception for 11 yards and Matt Burrows caught one for 8 yards.
Travis Cunningham led the defense with 3 solo tackles, 4 assists and 2 tackles for a loss. James McDaniel notched 3 solos and 4 assists. Josh Hoback made 3 assists and a quarterback sack, Corbin Lusk, Zack Layne and Dewayne Grooms made a solo and 3 assists each. Daniel Anderson and Cody Crisp had 2 solos and 2 assists each. Joelton Dees made a solo and an assist. Alex Meeks had 2 solos and Dakota Jones made 2 assists.
Grundy hosts York Institute this Friday. The Dragons come into the game with a 1-7 overall record and they’re 1-3 in the district. Their lone win is 49-7 over Cannon County. York has losses to Stone Memorial, White County, DeKalb County, Sequatchie County, Livingston Academy, Upperman and Kingston.
The Jackets played inspired football last week in Smithville. Being back home should motivate them to play even harder. Having a big crowd could help them get over the hump. It’s time to get behind your team Yellow Jacket fans and…Get out to the game!