DULUTH — Coming off a loss in its opening game, the Grand Rapids High School football team was looking for its first win of the young 2019 season Friday night.
The Thunderhawks traveled to Duluth to take on the Duluth Denfeld Hunters in a game that Grand Rapids was hoping to win. The Hunters lost to a good Aitkin team 58-0 in their opener and coach Greg Spahn and the Thunderhawks were hoping to notch their first win.
And, not only did they notch that win, but they notched it in a big way.
Grand Rapids completely dominated Duluth Denfeld from start to finish as it trounced the Hunters 65-0. The Thunderhawks led 42-0 at the half and they coasted from there in taking the win.
There really wasn’t much that Grand Rapids didn’t do right on Friday night, putting up the 65 points with a host of big plays and also posting a shutout defensively. The Thunderhawks scored on their first possession of the game when quarterback Trent Johnson scampered into the end zone from 11 yards out.
Grand Rapids’ special teams provided the next two points when the snap to the Hunter punter sailed out of the end zone for a safety. Then, on the ensuing possession, Grand Rapids increased its lead to 16-0 when Caden Hofstad broke free on a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown. Nate Huju booted the extra point and the Thunderhawks led 16-0 late in the first quarter.
The onslaught continued as Grand Rapids scored 26 points in the second quarter to take a commanding 42-0 advantage into halftime. Brock Holm scored the first touchdown on a two-yard run and Dane Kennedy followed that up with a 20-yard touchdown catch from Johnson.
Max Bergman then got into the picture as the sophomore broke free on a 31-yard scoring run. The final touchdown of the half came on the final play when Johnson hooked up with Hofstad on a 37-yard scoring pass.
Things didn’t get any better for the Hunters in the third quarter as Grand Rapids put up 23 more points to lead 65-0 after three quarters. Holm scored on a two-yard run and Bergman – who finished with 95 yards on the ground on just five carries – shredded the Denfeld defense with scoring runs of 36 and 16 yards to give him three for the day.
With the win, Grand Rapids is 1-1 for the season. The Thunderhawks will have their Homecoming game next Friday at Noble Hall Field against the Hibbing Bluejackets.
Grand Rapids 16 26 23 0—65
Duluth Denfeld 0 0 0 0—0
GR-Trent Johnson 11-yard run (Nate Huju kick)
GR-Punt snap out of end zone for safety
GR-Caden Hofstad 65-yard punt return (Huju kick)
GR-Brock Holm 2-yard run (Johnson run)
GR-Dane Kennedy 20-yard pass from Johnson (Run failed)
GR-Max Bergman 31-yard run (Kick blocked)
GR-Hofstad 37-yard pass from Johnson (Kick failed)
GR-Holm 2-yard run (Holm run)
GR-Bergman 38-yard run (Run good)
GR-Bergman 16-yard run (Huju kick)