Quarterback Brady Hess ’21 stiff-arms a Grandview defender. (Josh Tu)
The Vikings had already claimed at least a share of the MSL title on Friday, September 25, when they defeated the Liberty Union Lions 41-15. They needed one more win this Friday, October 2, to finish the regular season undefeated in the league and claim the title outright, while Grandview Heights was looking for its first win of the season after going 0-5.
Grandview’s hopes of securing a win were dashed immediately as quarterback seniors Brady Hess hit receiver Sam Huyghe for a 63-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage. The Bobcat’s secondary was particularly weak as Academy’s receivers repeatedly created huge gaps of separation. Yet after a string of dropped passes, Academy decided to switch back to the run game.
Despite Academy only presenting one-sided offense for the rest of the night, Grandview’s defense could not stop the Vikings. Running back Drake Bellisari’22 gashed the Bobcats for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns on 13 carries and 2 receptions. Hess scrambled for 66 yards on top of his 120 passing yards, stiff-arming numerous defenders. Running back Parker Logan’22 and tight end Robert Mills’21 each punched in a score, while senior Durell Moultrie added 41 yards on his 4 carries. Later in the game, quarterback Henry Rubey’22 and running back Dylan Ritzenhaler’23 both rushed into the endzone for a touchdown.
Academy’s defense and special teams were unyielding yet again, shutting out the Bobcats and forcing six turnovers. Grandview barely got 117 yards on offense, and their rushing game was held to just 39 yards the entire night. Kicker Jonah Houston’21 made one of the greatest plays of the night, recovering a high snap, juking a defender, and booting a 60-yard punt while off-balance.
The Vikings now have a bye week going into playoffs as the 4th seed in Region 19, before facing either Coshocton or Zane Trace in Academy’s first home playoff game in 17 years on Saturday, October 17.