ROSENDALE, Mo. — No. 2-seeded North Andrew ran roughshod over Bishop LeBlond for 10 rushing touchdowns, propelling them to an 80-24 win over the Golden Eagles to advance in the 8-Man District 4 quarterfinals on Friday at North Andrew High School.
Cardinals offensive lineman Hunter Grimes appreciates the opportunity to extend their season.
“As a team leader, being able to coach and help my teammates through the playoffs is great,” Grimes said. “Especially since I’m a senior, being able to have one more game, it means a lot to us.”
North Andrew (8-2) jumped out to an early lead. LeBlond (2-8) missed a field goal after a promising first drive, only for the Cardinals to bulldoze their way down the field to set up a short rushing score by junior Carson Thomas. Senior Keenan Shunk intercepted Eagles quarterback Brady Armes on the next drive and ran it back for a touchdown, their first of three picks on the night.
By the time the first quarter ended, the Cardinals already possessed a commanding 22-0 lead, and it didn’t get much easier for LeBlond as the North Andrew line put together a dominant performance drive after drive.
“For us, it starts up front. It’s Wyman Wheeler and Cayden Carter, Hunter Grimes, McKinley Lillard and Clayton Linville. Our starting offensive line is outstanding,” Cardinals coach Dwyane Williams said. “We’re leading the state in rushing right now and we don’t have one rusher in the top ten, that’s because we spread the ball around and we can do that because they’re outstanding.”
Though struggling throughout much of the game, LeBlond received a stellar performance from senior receiver Hunter Heck. Heck scored every touchdown for the Eagles, scoring in all three phases of the game on 41- and 59-yard receptions, a pick six, and a kickoff return touchdown.
In his first year with LeBlond, coach Eric Fairchild knows it wasn’t always an easy season. But he has nothing but respect for the efforts of his team in their first season playing 8-man football.
“They’re good men, they were good men when I got them. I hope I played some sort of role in them growing up. It was a trying season at teams with a lot of growth and change, but they gave me everything they had,” Fairchild said.