MCGREGOR — Down 35-18 at halftime, the McGregor Bulldogs reeled off 36 unanswered points and upset tenth-ranked Grandview, 54-35, on Friday night to open District 9-3A play in thrilling fashion.
The comeback win was fueled by a host of contributions from all over the field, but senior quarterback Hunter January led the charge. Overshadowed initially by Grandview junior quarterback and Baylor verbal commitment Zach Smith, January scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:35 remaining in the third quarter on a quarterback sneak. His run put the Bulldogs up 40-35, and they never looked back.
“January had an enormous game,” McGregor head coach Tim Seward said. “Our whole team did. They made plays all night long.”
Two more dramatic scores — both in the fourth quarter — sealed the game. First, with Grandview facing third down, sophomore linebacker Alex Parsons intercepted Smith and returned the ball 40 yards for a touchdown. Then, with five minutes left in the game and the Bulldogs pinned deep in their own territory, January found senior wide receiver Cory Bowers on a slant. Bowers broke a tackle and raced 95 yards to complete the comeback.
Additionally, the Bulldogs recorded a safety and they returned a punt block for a touchdown. Senior linebacker Tray Gilliam had the safety, and Parsons scooped up the block by senior defensive lineman Stanton Mosley and returned it 33 yards to pay dirt.
“We have a lot of young kids,” Seward said. “You could see their energy and enthusiasm when the momentum shifted.”
Smith had three touchdown passes in the first half. He connected with senior running back Jordan Martinez for a 55-yard touchdown to open the game’s scoring at the 8:44 mark of the first quarter. About two minutes later he found senior wide receiver Tyler Fauver for a 10-yard touchdown, and he hooked up with Martinez again from 41 yards out for his third scoring toss.
Martinez had a huge first half. In addition to his two touchdown catches, he rushed in twice in the second quarter. One-hundred-twenty-one of his 168 total yards came before halftime.
For the Bulldogs in the first half, Parsons scored on a 1-yard run following a muffed Zebra quick kick, and January scampered in from 29 yards out. The biggest play before intermission for either team was when McGregor wide receiver Andrew Taylor took a short bubble screen, broke a tackle and sped 69 yards to make the score 35-18. Ultimately, three first half fumbles forced the Bulldogs to play catch up.