Knights hold off No. 3 Bulldogs
AURELIA – After taking a 26-14 lead into halftime, Graettinger/Terril watched Aurelia rally to tie the game to start the fourth quarter.
However the Knights outscored their hosts 14-12 in the final frame, thwarting a two-point conversion in the closing minutes for a 40-38 victory on Friday.
“It was a well-fought game,” said G/T coach Karlton Hector.
The Knights’ coach said Aurelia started the second half with an onside kick, recovered it and drove it in for the score.
A G/T fumble allowed the Bulldogs to score again to tie the game.
“Being our first 8-player game, we weren’t quite sure what to expect,” said Hector.
While Aurelia is rated No. 3 by the Radio Iowa poll, Hector isn’t putting a lot weight to the ranking.
“They’re a good team, but we have plenty of areas to improve and know there are other teams coming up that are going to be tough,” he said. “It was great to win in the style we did under great adversity.
“But there’s still plenty of season left,” he added. “We want to keep improving and not be satisfied.”
Aurelia struck first with a 9-yard pass with 7:06 in the first quarter.
G/T answered at the 1:52 mark with a 4-yard run by Jake Hoffman.
Aurelia retook the lead on a 7-yard run with a two-point conversion to lead 14-6.
The Knights came back with a 48-yard run by Drew Skattebo.
The two-point conversion failed, but 2 1/2 minutes later, Cody Dyhrkopp scored on a 13-yard run with 5:59 remaining to give the Knights their first lead. he also added the two-point conversion to make the score 20-14.
Dyhrkopp scored once more before halftime on a 15-yard run with 2:24 remaining.
Aurelia rallied in the second half though, scoring twice within a few seconds-first on a 6-yard run at the 8:12 mark and then on a 21-yard fumble recovery with the clock reading 7:56.
The Knights retook the lead when Beau Craig caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Dyhrkopp with Hoffman adding the two-point conversion.
Aurelia then scored on a 4-yard pass play, but failed on the conversion.
With 3:15 remaining, Craig caught another touchdown pass from Dyhrkopp, this time from 19 yards out. The two-point conversion failed leaving the score at 40-32.
The Bulldogs scored with 44 seconds remaining, but the quarterback overthrew his receiver on the two-point conversion attempt.
For the Knights, Skattebo rushed for 99 yards on 17 carries; Hoffman had 61 yards on 14 carries and Dyhrkopp had 36 yards on 14 carries.
Dyhrkopp was 6-11 passing for 78 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Skattebo caught three passes for 29 yards, Craig caught two passes for 24 yards and James Tatman had one catch for 25 yards.
Defensively, Hoffman had one fumble recovery.
Hector said the defense played well overall. “There weren’t too many missed assignments,” he said. “Jake is a big leader at linebacker while defensive ends Kass (Schany) and Michael (Jensen) played great containment. Matt Harris and Kyle Brown shared time at noseguard and did well shutting down the run.”
G/T (1-0) plays Remsen-Union on Friday in the Knights’ home opener.