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South Ridge's Bill Redding defended as Grand Meadow's Cameron Gomer dove into the end zone for a touchdown. (Bruce Bisping photo)
Grand Meadow coach Gary Sloan couldn’t have scripted a better start for his squad. After its first three possessions, the Superlarks had a 22-0 lead and were on their way to a 61-6 victory and an appearance in next week's Prep Bowl.
“I’m very surprised [by the outcome],” Sloan said. “I would’ve been happy just to walk out of here with a win.”
The score was indicative of just how dominant Grand Meadow (12-1) was on both sides of the ball from the outset. After the first quarter, the first downs were 7-0 and total yardage was 175-7 in favor of the Superlarks.
It didn’t get much better for South Ridge (11-2) in the second quarter in a matchup of unranked teams. The Superlarks added three more touchdowns, taking a 42-0 lead the intermission.
South Ridge picked up its initial first down 33 seconds prior to halftime. It only had 20 yards of offense at the intermission, compared to 308 for Grand Meadow. For the game, Grand Meadow accumulated 485 total yards while limiting South Ridge to 71.
Superlarks junior quarterback Trenton Bleifus threw four first-half touchdown passes, going 9-for-14 for 151 yards. He hooked up with Bryce Benson twice and Collin and Landon Jacobson once each.
“He’s been great all year,” Sloan said of Bleifus, who has thrown 30 touchdown passes with only four interceptions on the season. “He’s the best quarterback I have ever coached.”
Said Bleifus, “We did a great job defensively and offensively. I don’t think we can play any better.”
Senior Perry Stejskal opened the scoring with back-to-back touchdown runs. Stejskal left in the second quarter when he reinjured the MCL in his left knee.
“We were able to establish the run,” Bleifus said. “That set up our play-action pass for big plays.”
For South Ridge it marked the end of a dramatic turnaround under first-year coach Tony DeLeon. It was 1-16 the previous two years.