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Grinnell handed Mid-Prairie a 27-12 loss in their season opener, shutting down the Golden Hawks after a long weather delay.
The game was paused midway through the third quarter after the stadium lights went out immediately after a Mid-Prairie play. Minutes later the rain started pouring and lightning lit up the sky, forcing a delay from 9:30 p.m. until 10:50 p.m.
The Golden Hawks were down 27-12 going into the delay and Mid-Prairie flex player Grant Boyse, who scored both touchdowns for Mid-Prairie, said the team used the delay to catch their breath and reset the momentum of the game.
“I think it helped the team overall to catch our breath because we’re short on numbers compared to them and it allowed kids who were cramping to hydrate,” Boyse said.
The downsides of the delay and heavy rain were evident in the game that lasted toward midnight. There were no points scored after the restart and that included three Mid-Prairie turnovers.
The Golden Hawks had five drives finish after the delay. An 8-play, 41-yard drive ended in an interception, a punt return popped out from the hands of Justin Schwartz due to slickness of the ball and Mid-Prairie’s final drive ended with a fumble.
Mid-Prairie coach Pete Cavanagh said that to him the difference was the poor offensive execution in the first half as Mid-Prairie had too many penalties and other mistakes.
“We were only down eight and played bad in the first half. So, I mean, it was a very winnable game and we just didn’t execute,” he said.
The Golden Hawks had eight penalties for 60 yards in the first half, but showed bright flashes of offense on their two touchdown plays.
The first was a 53-yard pass from Brad Tornow to Boyse on the first play of a drive immediately following a Grinnell touchdown. The second came on a 30-yard rush from Boyse early in the second quarter.
Field position was a sore spot for the Golden Hawks all night, as Mid-Prairie on average started on their own 27 while Grinnell averaged starting on their own 43-yard line.
Cavanagh said he felt his team did a good job of defending on the night, especially when you look at the field position battle.
Jack Baker had two tackles for loss and 6.5 total to lead the defense. Justin Schwartz had the lone interception on the night for Mid-Prairie and his 32-yard return set up Boyse’s rushing touchdown.
On the offensive end Schwartz nearly eclipsed 100 yards, rushing for 95 yards on 18 carries. Boyse had 80 yards rushing on seven carries and Rex Peck had one carry for two yards.
Schwartz also led the Golden Hawks in receiving yards with seven catches for 66 yards. Boyse had two catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.
Baker handled punting duties for the Golden Hawks and punted seven times and averaged 27.3 yards per punt.
Prior to the game, the home crowd gave a loud round of applause for Cavanagh, who is a Grinnell alum.
The Golden Hawks are on the road again as they take on Pekin next week.
Mid-Prairie: 6; 6; 0; 0; 12
Grinnell: 6; 14; 7; 0; 27
6:26 — Owen Coffman 35-yard pass from Cole McGriff (2-pt failed) 6-0 Grinnell
6:15 — Grant Boyse 53-yard pass from Brad Tornow (PAT failed) 6-6
10:04 — Grant Boyse 30-yard run (2-pt failed) 12-6 Mid-Prairie
4:09 — Drew Coffman 5-yard run (PAT good) 13-12 Grinnell
0:14 — Gavin McFarland 19-yard pass from Drew Coffman (PAT good) 20-12 Grinnell
7:34 — Owen Coffman 23-yard pass from Drew Coffman (PAT good) 27-12 Grinnell
Passing (comp-att, yards, TD INT)
Brad Tornow 13-31, 143 yards 1 TD 1 INT
Rushing (att-yards, TD)
Justin Schwartz 18-95 yards
Grant Boyse 7-80 yards, 1 TD
Receiving (rec-yards, TD)
Justin Schwartz 7-66 yards
Grant Boyse 2-68 yards 1 TD
Grant Boyse, 6.5 tackles
Jack Baker, 6.5 tackles, 2.0 for loss
Josh Wallington, 4 tackles, 1 sack