published Saturday, October 27th, 2012

Irish crush Yellow Jackets

By David Lowrie
Grundy County's Michael Nolan (1) is tacked by Notre Dame's Joe Dossett (55) and Keeley Green (44).  The Grundy County Yellow Jackets visited the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Friday night.
Grundy County's Michael Nolan (1) is tacked by Notre Dame's Joe Dossett (55) and Keeley Green (44). The Grundy County Yellow Jackets visited the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Friday night.
Photo by Robin Rudd.

Second place in District 7-AA and senior night was all the motivation Notre Dame needed to take down the Grundy County Yellow Jackets on Friday, 62-22.

The win guarantees the Irish a playoff spot while the Yellow Jackets will have to wait until the TSSAA announces the brackets today to see if they received a wild-card spot.

Notre Dame coach Charles Fant said he was surprised by the lopsided win.

"Grundy is a fantastic football team. We saw on film these guys play hard no matter what," Fant said. "When we saw the game with Grace, we didn't know if it was Grace getting better or what the deal was. No way would have we ever expected that we would be able to run the ball and throw the ball like we did tonight."

Grundy struck first on its opening drive as quarterback Josh Rhea broke loose on a 56-yard run. The kick failed but the Jackets were up 6-0.

The Irish reeled off the next three scores as Kareem Orr ran for a 61-yarder and Alex Darras passed 2 yards to Nick Chambers and 8 yards to Tanner Webb. Darras added two PATs and the Irish led 20-6.

Grundy responded with a Rhea 4-yard run, and he caught a two-point pass with 3:26 to go in the first half, but that was the last threat it would make.

Notre Dame added a 1-yard Darras run before the break, and his kick made it 27-14. The Irish added five scores in the second half to Grundy's one for the blowout win.

Fant stressed to his team to just take care of the win and everything else would take care of itself.

"I told the kids during the week not to worry about the playoffs," he said. "The only thing we could control was us getting second place. If we make second place, they have to put us in."

Darras completed 14 of 19 passes for 168 yards and three TDs. He added a touchdown run and seven extra points. Ricky Ballard led on the ground with 10 carries for 131 yards and two TDs.

Michael Nolan led Grundy in rushing with 11 carries for 90 yards.

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