Friday, October 13, 2017
North Springs High School
Grady High School
North Springs fell to the Grady Knights 30-26 in a game that featured a back-and-forth opening, a big Grady scoring barrage, lots of action but no scoring, and then a wild Spartan rally that almost saved the game. Grady drove to the Spartan 3 on the opening possession, when Graylyn Stokes forced the Knight QB to throw an interception to Evan Murphy. Unfortunately, the first Spartan play was also an interception. The North Springs defense forced a pooch kick to their 8. QB Brian Adams hit Jalen Delaney for 13 yards and then Ryan Gordon for 56 yards. Adams targeted Delaney for a TD pass in the left endzone, capped by Osman Ruzayev’s PAT and 7-0 lead. The Spartan defense led by Stanley Jackson, Jahvon Millard, and Zahzee White forced a punt, but a ‘running into the kicker’ call extended the Knight drive, setting up a long TD carry but missed extra point.
The opening Spartan 2nd quarter drive did little, but the defense rose up to stop Grady on their next 4th down. After a short next possession, punter Landon Lieber alertly raced 20 yards backwards to recover a very high snap for a Grady safety and 8-7 deficit. Two questionable referee calls helped Grady score another TD and get the 2-point conversion for a 16-8 lead. An incomplete Spartan pass was called a fumble, setting up another Grady TD. A fumbled Spartan shotgun snap set up the Knights at the 18 with one minute left before halftime. Despite sideline warnings to watch for a fake field goal, the Spartans were unable to stop a TD pass from a fake field goal to trail 30-7 at halftime.
After the Spartans punted on their opening drive of the 3rd quarter, the defense bent but didn’t break, with Stanley Jackson tackling the QB on 4th down at the 9 yard line. The Spartans could not move the ball and punted only to their 30. Despite a questionable pass interference call in the endzone, the Spartans stopped Grady on 4th down at the 10 yard line. The Spartans finally got moving, driving to the 50 before losing a fumble early in the 4th quarter. Grady drove to the 14 but were stopped again on 4th down with 6 minutes left in the game.
Trailing 30-7 with 6 minutes left, the Spartans could be forgiven for giving up. Instead, Brian Adams hit Jalen Delaney to the 30. Caleb Neely gained about 15 yards before being tackled; however, since he was atop Knight defenders, he had the presence of mind to pop up and race untouched for a 70-yard touchdown and 30-13 score. The Spartan defense forced a punt returned to the 47. Adams connected with Ryan Gordon to the 15. Jalen Delaney caught another TD with 1:13 left and a 30-19 deficit. Osman Ruzayev bounced a textbook onside kickoff, recovered by Caleb Neely at the Grady 48. Neely caught an Adams pass, setting up yet another Adams-Delaney TD pass and 30-26 score with 43 seconds left in the game. The Spartans nearly recovered another excellent Ruzayev bouncing onside kickoff, but the ball was deflected just out of reach out of bounds. Grady took a knee to hang on for the victory.
The Spartans will host Riverwood Friday for Homecoming.