Knights Bow Out In Substate Heartbreaker
REMSEN – Ask any coach – if they have to lose, the toughest game to lose is a close one, rather than a blowout.
Such was the case for the Knights of Graettinger/Terril’s in their 29-22 loss to Remsen-Union in an Eight-Player Substate Game last Wednesday.
“It was just a well-fought game-back and forth,” said G/T coach Karlton Hector. “Remsen was just able to come up with a few more big plays and they converted a lot of third downs than we did. It’s frustrating for us because we had the feeling we should’ve won.”
The host Rockets would score first on Wednesday night and post a 6-0 lead, but Graettinger/Terril would reply when Jake Hoffman raced into the endzone from a yard out with 1:02 to go in the first frame to tie the score at 6-6. Morton Utoft would then send the conversion kick through the uprights for a 7-6 Knight lead when the first quarter ended.
Once again, Remsen-Union would mount a scoring drive to retake the lead with a 12-7 tally just after the start of the second quarter, but Graettinger/Terril wasn’t going to sit back and watch.
The Knights took the kickoff and engineered a nice drive with Quarterback Cody Dyhrkopp at the controls, driving the Knights downfield, before he called his own number and snuck in from two yards out with 2:02 to go in the half. Morton Uthof nailed the conversion kick to retake the 14-12 advantage, but the half wasn’t over just yet.
Remsen-Union would take the kickoff and drive downfield, but in the face of the determined Knight defense, the Rockets would manage to put up a field goal with time running out for a 15-14 lead at th e intermission.
Graettinger/Terril would take the kickoff to start the second half of the contest and quickly found paydirt, scoring off a seven yard run by Drew Skattebo with 10:05 to go in the third.
A two-point conversion play with Kass Schany catching a pass from Dyhrkopp put the Knights back on top by the 22-15 margin.
Like their first meeting in the non-district portion of the season, Remsen-Union refused to concede anything, and tied the score with a touchdown in the late stages of the third quarter for a 22-22 tie to start the final quarter. A couple of miscues by the Knights would allow Remsen-Union to score once again shortly after the start of the fourth frame to take a 29-22 lead, but Graettinger/Terril refused to give up. With the clock winding down, the Knights were driving and threatening to score, but a dropped pass in the end zone on fourth down crushed the Knights’ hopes for the come-from-behind victory.
Senior back Jake Hoffman would led Graettinger/Terril in the valiant effort with 21 rushes for 83 yards and a touchdown in the game, while teammate Drew Skattebo added 10 carries for 42 yards and a touchdown. Cody Dyhrkopp would carry the football 10 times for 39 yards and also score a touchdown in the effort. Dyhrkopp would complete two of nine passes for 47 yards with three passes being intercepted. Beau Craig had a catch for 38 yards and Kass Schany made an eight yard reception for the Knights.
“I am very proud of our players and staff for effort they have put in this year.” Hector noted. “It is always disappointing to lose, but it just leaves an extra little sting when it’s the playoffs and such a close game.”
For Graettinger/Terril, eight seniors suited up for the last time in their prep careers. Jake Hoffman, Kass Schany, James Tatman, Kyle Brown, Tanner Gunderson, Garrett Henricksen, Matt Masters and Dalton Park all leave the Knights after lots of sacrifice and leadership in the past year.
“We will be losing eight very important seniors. They played a very big role in the success of the team,” Hector noted. “We don’t pick captains. We just tell the seniors they’re in charge. They set the tone in practice and for the week’s games. They showed the younger guys how hard you have to play and practice every week. These eight guys will be missed greatly.”