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Jared VanWatermeulen on the tackle against a Ladysmith ball carrier.

Grantsburg got off to a fast start on Friday night as they hosted Ladysmith. They easily won 44-7 and are now preparing for the playoff matchup against Durand this week.

“I thought our defense did a great job of getting Ladysmith's offense off the field with several 3 and outs,” Grantsburg head coach Adam Hale told the Sentinel. “Our offense was not where we're capable of being so it's a good thing we played well defensively and on special teams to give us a short field on several first half possessions.”

Grantsburg scored two rushing touchdowns in the first quarter. Then added another 10 unanswered points in the second quarter. The Pirates were ahead 24-0 at halftime.

On offense, Isaac Quimby led the offense on the ground with 151 rushing yards on 17 carries with an average of almost nine yards a carry.

“He's a great runner who see's things well and is very shifty,” Hale commented. “He's learned what to look for on different running schemes and done a much better job taking care of the football.”

The Pirates were led on defense by Trevor Anderson’s 11 tackles and two forced fumbles.

“I think our defense has improved over the past few weeks since the Paynesville "eye opener,” Hale said of the Pirates 58-35 loss in October. “Trevor Anderson, Aaron Burkman and Sam Prusinski are a few guys that have really improved over the course of the season and have been playing good football. We need to continue to improve to have post season success.”

Aiden Burkman was injured in the game and Hale noted two players on the team stepped up in his absence.

“Levi Prusinski and Aaron Burkman did a nice job filling in for an injured Burkman.”

When asked about the upcoming matchup against Durand, Hale said blocking and controlling the ball on offense needs to improve.

“We really need to work on sustaining blocks and being able to run the ball consistently and then execute better in the passing game.”