(Griswold) When they needed a win the most, the Griswold Tiger football team came through with one of their best performances of the year. They posted a playoff clinching 50-28 win over Tri-Center, improving to 5-4 overall.
Griswold scored on their opening drive and never trailed. In fact they rarely led by less than two possessions. They would rush for seven scores on the night and never needed to attempt a pass. The team was forced into very few third and long plays and punted the ball just twice. Caleb Schaaf and Derek Kirchhoff led the ground attack with three scores each. Hadley Ogg added another, a fifteen yarder. Afterwards, Schaaf commented that the holes the offensive line created were, 'About two semi-trucks wide.' That's Treighton Oakleaf, Tyler Wyman, Joe Schoning, Cade Pelzer, and Anthony Lappe up front along with tight ends Mason Boucher and Jordan Vetter.
Tri-Center made a couple of momentum swinging plays to get back in the game, but never got any closer than eight points after the opening quarter. The bulk of the Trojans big plays came from Nick Schnitker who caught a 14 yard TD pass from Sam Sorenson and also posted 25 and 27 yard TD runs. In addition to a couple of key passes to Schnitker, Sorenson ripped off a 35 yard run on a scramble, and also caught a pass for 22 yards from Matthew Wellman on a trick play. Dillon Manhart broke off several strong runs including a 20 yarder, but Griswold's defense came through with enough stops to get the job done.
Defensive ends Mason Boucher and Anthony Lappe put pressure on the quarterback in obvious passing situations while linebackers Cory Greubel, Jacob Dickinson, and Wyatt Robinette had their names called early and often on tackles. Greubel also had a key fumble recovery on a botched shotgun snap early in the game.
Griswold will go into the district as the number four seed, but keep in mind the combined record of the teams they have lost to is 29-5. Tri-Center's year is done at 4-5. Coach John Tiarks commented afterwards that the group came a long ways from scoring only one touchdown during their entire 8th grade season. Tri-Center will return several starters and also hope to benefit from the addition of some newcomers next year.