Nampa (Idaho) Christian def. Grant Union 6-0
NAMPA, Idaho - The offensive line of Grant Union High School's football team received another trial by fire at Nampa Christian School Friday in a grind-it-out 6-0 loss.
A week after being shut out by Burns in a home opener, the Prospectors showed signs of progress, amassing 153 yards of offense. But the team still struggled to make the key plays to score points.
Coach Monty Nash said he was pleased with the blocking of senior Devin Burril but looked for more consistency from other linemen as the Prospectors travel to Payette, Idaho, Friday, Sept. 12. The Prospectors face Payette, coming in with an 0-2 preseason record and an awareness that the home team may throw anything at them.
"This is a team that hasn't had much success in many, many years. .. I think they're going to look at us and see a chance to put some things together," Nash said.
"We can expect almost anything from them," he added.
The game starts at 7 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, 6 p.m. local time.
Nash said he will continue drilling the offensive line for consistency and try to give the running back tandem of Cody Frazier and Matt Curtis and quarterback Bo Thunell more opportunity to run the ball.
"If we do our part up front, then they're going to be standing in the end zone instead of just getting first downs," Nash said.
On Friday, Sept. 19, the Prospectors host Pine Eagle for a non-league game. Pine Eagle adopted an independent schedule, so the game will not count in the Wapiti League standings.
The league opener is Friday, Sept. 26, when Grant Union hosts Elgin.
"From what I've heard, they're a better ball club," Nash said. "We're going to have a bigger challenge than we've had before."
Friday's game at Nampa Christian School was a wake-up call to the Prospector offense. A team that Grant Union defeated last year got revenge in a mostly ground-based contest.
"It was a physical football game, and I knew it was going to be ahead of time," Nash said. "I was pleased defensively that we were able to contain them as well as we did, but again I was disappointed offensively that we weren't able to put some things together."
Nampa Christian and Grant Union tussled to a 6-0 win for the Trojans in a football game marked by lopsided offenses.
Grant Union amassed 108 rushing yards but only 45 passing yards. Nampa Christian, by contrast, rushed for only 67 yards but threw for 107 yards.
A 3-yard play with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game spelled the difference on the scoreboard. On third down and 2 at the 3-yard line, the Trojans pounded the ball into the end zone and ended the game's scoring drought.
A point-after attempt failed, and Grant Union received the punt on its own 42-yard line. While the Prospectors had refined their rushing game, battering the Nampa Christian defense, a crucial fumble on third down and 4 effectively sealed the win for Nampa, as the Trojans took over with 1:09 remaining.
Earlier, the game had resembled a tug-of-war. Nampa rolled to Grant Union's 18-yard line only to be rebuffed on a fourth down and 12 where the Trojans failed to fool the Prospectors on a faked field goal. In another close shave in the third quarter, a Trojan touchdown pass was called back on a penalty.
Grant Union, meanwhile, had a chance for a touchdown on fourth down and 2 at Nampa's 28-yard line with 8:58 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Trojans held their ground, and the Prospectors were forced to turn the ball over on downs.
Another exchange of possessions found Grant Union forced to punt at its own 31-yard line. In perhaps the biggest offensive play of the game, barring the touchdown, Nampa linebacker Mark Dillon rambled from Nampa's 48-yard line to the 25 of Grant Union on the first play of the series by Nampa after recovering the punt. The momentum continued, and the Trojans avoided overtime with its drive to the end zone.
Grant Union quarterback Thunell's 17-yard run was the longest for the team. Running back Toby Thomas received a 35-yard pass from Curtis on a halfback option play.