HIGHLAND FOOTBALL

Huskies roll in home finale win against Pekin, 49-14

Connor Grinstead scores 3 TDs for playoff-headed Highland

By Paul D. Bowker
Posted 10/18/21

RIVERSIDE

Highland quarterback Connor Grinstead raised his index finger into the air as he reached the end zone for one of his three touchdowns this past Friday night.

Senior teammate Trevor …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in
HIGHLAND FOOTBALL

Huskies roll in home finale win against Pekin, 49-14

Connor Grinstead scores 3 TDs for playoff-headed Highland

Posted

RIVERSIDE

Highland quarterback Connor Grinstead raised his index finger into the air as he reached the end zone for one of his three touchdowns this past Friday night.

Senior teammate Trevor McFarland greeted him, and the two jumped up in celebration.

Soon, the rest of the Huskies offensive squad joined in.

Scoring touchdowns on their first four possessions in the team’s regular-season finale, the Huskies clinched a Class A playoff spot with a 49-14 win over Pekin.

The offensive outburst was Highland’s biggest of the season.

“I mean, you want to go off with a win on your own home field, last regular-season game,” said Grinstead, one of a number of Highland seniors playing at home for the last time. “It feels great to do that. Go out and win like that on your home field, knowing it’s your last game. This was great.”

Highland’s victory clinched the fourth and final playoff spot in Class A District 5. The Huskies (3-5) will play at Lynnville-Sully (7-1) on Friday night at 7. The Hawks won all six games in District 6 play and have won seven in a row since losing their opener to Pleasantville.

Highland won its first two district games before losing three straight to Alburnett, Wapello and District 5 champion Lisbon. Those losses, and injuries, did not make the Huskies’ run toward a playoff spot a particularly easy one.

“No, it’s not,” said Highland head coach Scott Morel. “We’ve got a pretty tough district.”

But against Pekin, the Huskies offense rolled and rolled early. Grinstead scored on his first touchdown run with 5:18 left in the opening quarter. By the time he romped into the end zone with his third touchdown with 3:21 remaining in the first half, the Huskies went ahead 27-0.

“Connor had a great game,” Morel said. “The line blocked really well. It’s nice to get the guys back. It’s nice to get mainly full strength on our line.”

Among those returning on the line were Eli Slaymaker (broken thumb) and Devin Lovetinsky.

After Grinstead’s first scoring run put the Huskies in front 7-0, McFarland doubled the lead by combining with Grinstead on an 80-yard pass play for a touchdown. Grinstead lofted a pass over the heads of Pekin’s defenders, and McFarland caught it and outraced them to the end zone.

Grinstead scored two touchdowns in 2:27 later in the second quarter to open up a 27-point lead.

“It was great to see those guys do well. Scoring first four possessions, that’s awesome. We executed pretty well,” Morel said.

Highland senior running back Brenton Bonebrake added a pair of touchdown runs in the third quarter.

McFarland scored his second touchdown of the game on a 14-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.

Pekin avoided the shutout with touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters scored by Logan Lauderman and Kevin Rohr.

Highland, football

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here