GRAETTINGER – Graettinger/Terril immediately found out how tough No. 3 North Sentral Kossuth is.
The Eagles took their opening drive and even a penalty deep in the Knights’ territory slowed them down temporarily.
NSK built a 20-0 halftime lead and and then held on for a 26-12 victory.
“We came out a little flat in the first half while they (NSK) played hard and with intensity,” said G/T coach Karlton Hector. “We didn’t match that for the first couple of quarters.”
The Eagles started their first drive on their 15-yard line and drove right inside the 10. NSK appeared to score with 9:38 remaining, but the touchdown was called back on a low-block penalty.
But the Eagles converted a third-and-11 to earn a first-down at the 1-yard line and quarterback Nick Larsen took the ball in on the next play. The kick failed, but NSK led 6-0.
On the Knights first drive, which also started at their 15-yard line, they converted a fourth-and-one for one first down, but didn’t take a chance a second fourth-and-one and punted away.
The Eagles appeared ready to have great field position after the return across midfield, but another penalty had them start the drive at their own 7-yard line.
It didn’t matter.
NSK again drove down the field and had first down at the one.
The Knights held for three downs, but NSK’s Chris Rock finally broke through on the 1-yard run and the Eagles led 12-0.
Graettinger/Terril looked to answer to start the second quarter as Drew Skattebo found room down the sideline, but this time the Knights were called back on a penalty.
The momentum turned further against the Knights when NSK’s Brock Beadle made a one-handed interception grab on the next play.
The Knights’ defense finally began to stiffen.
They had their best field position of the first half when Eric Hartland recovered a fumble at the NSK 30, but they couldn’t move the ball.
The Eagles had one final drive to end the half with Dillon Bernhard scoring from a yard out. Beadle the scored on a reverse for the two-point conversion and a 20-0 Eagle lead at the break.
The Knights came out more determined in the second half.
Their first score came on a 1-yard run by Cody Dyhrkopp at the 9:42 mark in the third quarter.
Five minutes later, Dyhrkopp connected on a 45-yard strike.
While both two-point conversion attempts failed, the Knights moved within one score of the Eagles down 20-12.
Graettinger/Terril had another chance to score as they moved the ball to the 5-yard line, but a penalty and interception ended the threat.
The Eagles put the game away with another 1-yard touchdown run with 2:43 remaining in the game.
Jake Hoffman had 60 yards rushing on 14 carries, but the Knights had just 75 yards on the ground.
Dyhrkopp was 14-for-22 passing for 189 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.
The Knights (2-1, 0-1) are on the road at Harris-Lake Park next Friday.