Grantsburg outplayed Durand in the first round of the WIAA playoff by holding an eight-point win Friday night.
On a cold Friday night, the Grantsburg Pirates got off to a fast start going up 24-8 at the end of the first half.
“Our team was ready to play and excited for a chance to win a playoff game,” Grantsburg head coach Adam Hale told the Sentinel.
The Pirates were on the scoreboard first with a Isaac Quimby touchdown run and a successful extra point by Jared VanWatermuelen. Durand followed that score with a touchdown run of their own and a successful two-point conversion.
VanWatermuelen was called on again for a 29-yard field goal. He split the goalpost making the score 10-8.
The Pirates were able to score two more touchdowns with another rushing touchdown from Quimby and Aaron Burkman threw a touchdown pass to Zach Miller. VanWatermuelen converted both extra points giving the Pirates a 24-8 advantage going into halftime.
Miller had an outstanding game with six catches for 162 yards and two receiving touchdowns. Quimby and Aidan Burkman continued to be a solid two-headed rushing attack throughout the season.
“Quimby and Burkman both ran the ball well and our offensive line gave good protection most of the night,” Hale noted. “We made several big plays on offense which ended up being the difference.”
The duo combined for 93 rushing yards.
In the second half, Durand and Grantsburg both scored touchdowns, 31-16. The fourth quarter was dominated by the Durand rushing game. Simon Bauer for Durand rushed for 295 yards on 34 carries.
Grantsburg was led by Aidan Burkman and Carter Johnson on defense. The pair combined for 23 of the team’s 74 tackles.
“On defense it was a solid team effort. I was really pleased with how we got Durand's offense off the field quickly in the first half and that helped us win the field position battle,” Hale said. “Bauer is a terrific back and in the first half, we did a good job of limiting his big play ability.”
The Pirates sealed the victory with a late 24-yard touchdown run from Quimby to make it 38-30.
Following the game , Hale was notified that a player for the team had tested positive for COVID-19. With close contact rules set up by the WIAA, Grantsburg was forced to forfeit the upcoming game against Spring Valley.