Ranked fifth in state, the 2A Grant Union Prospector football team is focused on a goal of top place in the Wapiti League.
In their Friday homecoming game, Grant Union overcame a slow start to claim a 68-16 win over the Imbler Panthers, setting the second half on fire despite the snow and chill.
Imbler slid past Grant Union for a safety and increased their early lead with a fourth down touchdown on their next possession, adding the two-point conversion for a 10-0 lead in the first quarter.
Grant Union progressed with three first downs in a row. Then Prospector quarterback Wade Reimers connected with receiver Zack Deiter to add their first points to the board.
Imbler led 10-6 going into the second.
After an incomplete pass brought a fourth down, Reimers kept the ball for a 20-plus-yard run to score, also gaining the two-point conversion with a keeper.
Ryan Patterson then scored for Imbler, giving the Panthers a two-point lead, 16-14.
Imbler recovered an onside kick to take back possession of the ball. The move didn’t sit well with the Prospectors.
Grant Union stalled Imbler’s offense with plays including a sack from linebacker Drew Lusco.
The Prospectors took the lead going into halftime when Reimers connected with Deiter to score, and the two-point conversion made it 22-16.
The Pros found their spark after a pep talk from head coach Jason Miller during halftime.
“I just asked them if they’re a good team or a great team,” Miller said. “I said, ‘I’m not mad at you. I’m just disappointed in the way we played our first half – lack of focus, lack of effort – and you change it or you don’t.’”
The home team took the message to heart, and the Whiskey Gulch Gang’s cannon rang out several more times to signal Prospector touchdowns. Grant Union’s defense held Imbler scoreless in the second half.
“It looked like a team on a mission,” Miller said. “They know what our mission is, and we work toward it every day, and we practice hard every day.”
He added, “If they want to make that pay off, then that’s how they have to play, and they did a good job.”
Grant Union hosts the Enterprise Outlaws in league action at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20.
Enterprise has a 2-2 overall record, and they are 1-0 in league, after a 27-0 win over Union on Oct. 13. Union is 0-6 overall.
Grant Union is 5-1 overall and 1-0 in league.
Grant Union touchdowns
Zack Deiter: 4
Logan McCluskey: 2
Wade Reimers: 1
Duane Stokes: 1
Kellen Shelley: 1