GRANDVIEW — It was Homecoming at Grandview Heights High School on Friday, but it was London who was celebrating as the Red Raiders trounced the host Bobcats 42-0.
London used an offensive explosion in the third quarter to quickly remove doubt from the outcome after holding a 14-0 lead at halftime.
KJ Price again served as a main difference-maker for the Red Raiders as the standout running back recorded four more touchdowns, and passed the 1,500 mark in ground yardage on the season.
The Red Raiders had some questions coming into the game – with one of those being at the quarterback position. With starter Juane Gardner and backup Dylan Combs befallen by injuries, London used its ‘next man up’ approach. Noah McClintock took snaps in the traditional set up, but when Price got back there, that is when things got interesting.
A play occurred midway through the third quarter that typified why Price’s skill set is so dangerous.
Already leading 21-0, London was looking to shut the door. Although Price mishandled the snap from his wildcat/shotgun QB position, he did not panic. He calmly scoped up the bouncing ball and scooted his way through Bobcat defenders for a 31-yard touchdown.
“We’ve always had multiple guys ready to play that position,” said London coach Kyle Cutler about Price and others stepping in at quarterback. “When you put the ball in the best player’s hands, you can’t go wrong.”
Grandview’s first play from scrimmage was a nice 21-yard pass from Kyle Casey to Luke Lachey. That would be one of the lone highlights on the night for the home Bobcats, who were held to slightly over 100 yards of offense on the night.
Price blocked the punt, and was rewarded with the honor of scoring London’s first touchdown – from a yard out – at the end of a seven-play drive. The drive was sparked by a 19-yard McClintock run.
While the Red Raiders offense needed a little more time to get its footing, the London defense flexed its muscles throughout, tackling Bobcat players several times for negative yardage plays.
London’s Nate Wells, Brandon Leach, Richie Geib, Bricker Thiel, and others led a relentless attack all game; not allowing Grandview to get close to their end zone.
The Red Raiders’ best drive of the night (14 plays), featured London’s only pass in the game. Price connected with the speedy Gavin Bonn for 35 yards to flip the field. Price would go in a few plays later to set the 14-0 halftime score.
As the second half started, the crowd sensed it was just a matter of time before Price would break through for one of his long touchdown runs. They did not have to wait long as Price ripped off a 62-yard scamper to the end zone that left Grandview players in the dust.
London would get the ball right back as Isaiah Jones came down with a fine interception.
The Jones pick put the ball into the hands of London’s other talented running back – Brennan Spiess.
A 28-yard run by Spiess gave London great field position; just foreshadowing things to come. Price concluded the drive with the aforementioned offensive scoop-and-score.
The hard-running Spiess wrapped up the scoring on night for the Red Raiders as he had a pair of long touchdown runs – 30 and 80 yards, respectively.
Cutler was pleased with his squad’s halftime adjustments as they appear to fire on all cylinders in anticipation to hosting Bishop Ready next Friday.
“We just got some things cleaned up and executed,” Cutler said of the second half. “We got back to fundamentals.”