DULUTH — The Grand Rapids High School football team exploded for 38 second-half points to turn a one-point deficit at halftime to a 56-28 thumping of Duluth East Friday night in Duluth.
Offense dominated play in the first half. Grand Rapids struck first when Owen Glenn reached pay dirt on a nine-yard run. Kaydin Metzgar booted the extra point and the Thunderhawks had an early 7-0 advantage.
Duluth East struck right back as dangerous Austan Orvedahl scored on a 19-yard run. The kick was good and the game was tied at 7-7.
Grand Rapids regained the lead in the second quarter when Aiden Chandler pranced into the end zone from 31 yards out. The extra point try was no good but Grand Rapids led 13-7.
Duluth East came right back to regain the lead when Max Sazama latched onto a 35-yard touchdown pass from Dean Hudoba. The kick was good as the Greyhounds led 14-13 in the second quarter.
Grand Rapids came back once again when Glenn broke free on a 53-yard touchdown run.
But that lead was short-lived for the Thunderhawks as Orvedahl scored on a five-yard run late in the half to put Duluth East ahead 20-19 at the intermission.
Grand Rapids was unable to stop Duluth East at all in the first half, but the second half started out well for the Thunderhawks when they forced the Greyhounds to turn the ball over on downs in Grand Rapids territory. Then, the dangerous Chandler broke free and outran the Duluth East defenders for a 65-yard touchdown run. Chandler broke two tackles as he plunged into the end zone for the two-point conversion and a 27-20 Thunderhawk lead.
On Duluth East’s next possession, Orvedahl scored on a 65-yard run, but it was called back due to a penalty. That seemed to take the wind out of the Greyhounds as it was all Grand Rapids from there. The Thunderhawks scored three more unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter to take a huge lead into the fourth quarter. The touchdowns came on a Chandler 15-yard run, a five-yard scoring run from Florek, and another touchdown from Florek, with it coming on a 21-yard run.
In the fourth quarter, Jack Cleveland reached the end zone on a 16-yard run for Grand Rapids while Michael Kastelic scored on a 63-yard run for Duluth East.
Chandler finished with 143 yards rushing in the game for Grand Rapids while Florek gained 101 and Cleveland added 81.
With the win, Grand Rapids improves to 4-2 for the season. Duluth East falls to 3-3.
Grand Rapids 7 12 29 8 — 56
Duluth East 7 13 0 8 — 28
GR-Owen Glenn 9-yard run (Kaydin Metzgar kick)
DE-Austan Orvedahl 19-yard run (Kick good)
GR-Aiden Chandler 31-yard run (Kick failed)
DE-Max Sazama 35-yard from Dean Hudoba (Kick good)
GR-Glenn 53-yard run (Kick failed)
DE-Orvedahl 5-yard run (Run failed)
GR-Chandler 65-yard run (Chandler run)
GR-Chandler 15-yard run (2-point conversion good)
GR-Ethan Florek 3-yard run (Run good)
GR-Florek 21-yard run (Kick good)
GR-Jack Cleveland 16-yard run (Run failed)
DE-Michael Kastelic 63-yard run (Pass good)