Play Amherst at Stanley-Boyd this Friday, Nov. 10
Grantsburg 40, Elk Mound 7
Marty Seeger|Staff writer
GRANTSBURG – For the second time in three years the Grantsburg football team is on the doorstep of the state championship game, after a 40-7 win over Elk Mound on a snowy Friday, Nov. 3.
“With the snowfall, the importance of the game and the way our kids played, it made for a very memorable night. The team has been grinding since Aug. 1, and it’s a night like that, that makes it all worth it and gives these players something they’ll never forget,” said coach Adam Hale.
It was another close first-half playoff game for the Pirates, who got on the board with 9:45 remaining in the first quarter on a 63-yard touchdown pass from Luke Anderson to John Chenal.
Chenal contributed a ton in the win with 131 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown. He completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Gabe Chenal and caught two passes for 94 yards. As a punter, John Chenal averaged 44 yards per kick and picked off two passes on defense. But it wasn’t just the effort of John Chenal that helped lift the Pirates, who held the Mounders to their only touchdown of the game in the first quarter.
John Chenal had a 43-yard run for a touchdown late in the second quarter to put the Pirates up 12-7 at halftime. They rolled after that with a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter and another two in the fourth.
“Our defense got stronger as the game went on and did a great job on not allowing the big runs that (Brady) Redwine has had all season. We had so many guys step up and take their play up a notch making a great team win,” Hale said, adding how pleased he was with sophomore Levi Miller playing the noseguard position for the first time all season. He noted that Bryce Roufs had his biggest defensive game of the season while also recovering a fumble, one of three Elk Mound turnovers.
“Offensively we struggled at times blocking them up front but eventually wore them down and made some holes. John and Leo Chenal were both terrific on the ground and Luke Anderson had a couple of great throws at crucial times,” said Hale.
The Pirates will now face the No. 2 seeded Amherst Falcons this Friday, Nov. 10, at Stanley-Boyd, beginning at 7 p.m. The Falcons are 11-1 and have risen to become one of the top football programs in the state in Division 5. This is their sixth consecutive trip to the state semifinals and Grantsburg’s second state semifinal appearance in the past three years.
Amherst won the state Division 5 title in 2012, and was a runner-up in 2014 before winning the Division 5 title again in 2015.
The Falcons have a senior quarterback who is putting up big numbers in his first year at the position. Marcus Gladowski has 2,623 yards of total offense. He’s scored 39 touchdowns and over 1,500 yards rushing. But Grantsburg has plenty of firepower too, and will be ready for the challenge.
“It will be the biggest challenge we’ve had in taking on a state power like Amherst. They have one of the top programs in the state and we’re excited to get back at it and have the opportunity to play for a trip to Camp Randall,” Hale said.