GENOA – Chandler Alderman and the North Boone offense got off to a fast start Friday at Genoa-Kingston, but Connor Grimm and the Cogs defense made sure it was short-lived.
Grimm had three sacks and a touchdown as the Cogs knocked off the Vikings, 41-19, to stay undefeated.
“Especially getting those sacks, our momentum changes,” Grimm said. “We come out and our energy is there, and we want to stop them.”
After Genoa-Kingston sophomore quarterback Nathan Kleba, starting for the injured Nolan Perry, fumbled on the game’s second play, Alderman and the Vikings (0-3) answered with a four-play, 35-yard drive, including three passes for Alderman.
The Cogs answered on the first play of the next drive with a 65-yard pass from Kelba to Engel – Engel had three touchdowns in the first half and 158 total yards of offense in the game – but the Vikings started off on another long drive.
But facing a first-and-10 at the Cogs’ 36, Grimm got through the line and sacked Alderman, then pressured him on an incomplete second-down pass. He also got a sack on fourth down to end the threat.
Kleba fumbled again three plays into the next drive, and on fourth-and-8 from their own 43, the Cogs appeared to stop the Alderman pass short of the first down, but Maddox Lavender forced a fumble that Grimm recovered and returned 48 yards for the Cogs’ first lead, 14-7.
“It was huge what he did that stretch there, then that scoop and score, it gave us a little bit more life,” Davekos said. “We always say bend but don’t break.”
Grimm said he was looking to make the tackle, then saw the ball pop out after Lavender’s hit.
“I was there to make a tackle, I saw the ball on the ground, I was going to dive on it, but I saw the open field in front of me,” Grimm said. “I picked it up, and I just started going.”
The Vikings drove down to the G-K 14, but the drive stalled, and the Cogs made them pay with another deep strike from Kleba to Engel from 45 yards out for a 20-7 lead. The teams traded touchdowns to end the half, including an 8-yard run by Engel with 22 seconds left.
North Boone ran 18 more plays than the Cogs in the first half, but Genoa-Kingston had 5 more total yards. The Vikings finished with 64 plays for 354 yards, while the Cogs ran 44 plays for 330 yards.
Alderman was 30-of-39 passing for 248 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, while Kleba was 3 of 6 for 121 yards and two scores. Ethan Wilnau ran for 156 yards on eight carries for the Cogs and two scores.
The Cogs added a third-quarter score on a 32-yard run by Ethan Wilnau as he sped through the line and went untouched the rest way for a 34-13 lead. The Vikings answered back early in the fourth with a 26-yard pass from Alderman to Adrien Raabe, their second connection of the game.
Wilanu wasted little time answering back, going 49 yards for a score on the first play of the next drive, pushing the Cogs’ lead to 41-19 with 9:40 left in the game.
“There were some ups, there were some downs,” Davekos said. “We had some mistakes early on that we had to fix up at halftime, but we responded well.
“Overall I think we did a nice job.”