T-G-U downs Central McLean
Towner-Granville-Upham coach Scott Thorson knew Central McLean standout running back Grant Singer was going to get his yards.
The senior did, rushing for 232 of them on 26 carries.
However, he wasn’t the difference maker.
T-G-U senior Ian Keller and junior Tyler Thorson held that distinction. Both rushed for 103 yards and played big roles on defense, helping the Titans upend the Cougars’ 26-20 in the state 9-man football quarterfinals in Turtle Lake on Oct. 31.
“It was a back and forth game,’ Thorson said. “We were fortunate to get one more score and hold them.”
Trailing by six points, Central McLean had two possessions in the final six minutes, but twice T-G-U’s defense would force turnovers.
It was T-G-U’s third straight road playoff win, and propelled them into the state semifinal round against Parshall-White Shield.
Coach Thorson admits he was a little worried early on when Singer took the ball deep inside Titans’ territory on the second play from scrimmage. CM would score just 2:13 into the game and lead 8-0.
The Titans’ offense didn’t click early, in fact, it was forced to punt on its first few possessions.
However, the team stuck with it, eventually getting on the scoreboard on Keller’s 26-yard TD run early in the second quarter. Keller would find the end zone again, scoring on a seven-yard run with under a minute to play in the half.
Singer would regain the lead for the Cougars’ on a 64-yard run in the first minute of the third quarter. T-G-U would respond, though, when Thorson would connect with Daniel Syvertson for a 20-yard TD pass over the middle. CM would again answer with a scoring drive of its own and led 20-18.
T-G-U would move the ball and the game-changing play came on a fourth down and one at the Titans’ 41-yard line. The play call was a QB dive. CM loaded up the tackle box. Thorson managed to slip past the defense and race 59 yards to the end zone. It was his 21st rushing touchdown in nine games.
From there, the Titans’ defense bent, but didn’t break, and T-G-U extended its season another week.
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