(Murray, IA) — The first ever game for the combined Stanton/Essex football program was a dominant 40-6 win for the Vikings over Murray Friday night.
“I think it’s been great the way these kids have worked hard together,” Stanton/Essex head coach Jeff Grebin said in a postgame interview with KMA Sports. “For our offense, we have a few things we need to clean up because Lamoni will be a very tough team next week. It was a struggle at times moving the ball and we had to change some things up. Boy, it was a fun night.”
The Vikings (1-0) jumped out to a 26-0 lead and took a 26-6 advantage into halftime. Senior quarterback Keygan Day threw three touchdown passes on the night, all to starting running back Colton Thornburg. Those three scores were 44, 32, and 37 yards respectively. Day also had a rushing touchdown on the night, while starting fullback Logan Roberts was able to find the end zone two times.
“We’ve had problems with intensity on defense and that was our main goal coming in here,” Day said after the win. “I think we lit it up on defense and came firing out. We executed plays and that was the difference in the game.”
“Keygan was getting fantastic protection behind our line and was getting me the ball in space,” Thornburg added. “I was able to move around and get something out of it. The team played really well tonight.”
Coach Grebin noted his favorite moments of the game were when the Viking defense forced Murray to turn the ball over two separate times on downs inside the five yard line.
“I’m really proud of our defensive stands on the goal line,” Grebin said. “It was a difference in the game. My goodness, if (Murray) gets in the end zone a couple times it could be a different game. I thought our defense played really well tonight.”
For Murray, their lone score was a four-yard touchdown pass from freshman Zack Belden to senior Reece Held late in the second quarter. They’ve now lost five straight regular season games dating back to last season.
Stanton/Essex will hit the road next week when they face Lamoni, while Murray is also on a road trip to Collins-Maxwell. Full video interviews with Coach Grebin, Day, and Thornburg can be found below.
Friday night’s week zero game was heard live on the KMA XStream at kmaland.com.