(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
EAST PRAIRIE -- In East Prairie's media program, Grandview's Curtis Kellar is labeled as a wide receiver.
If the senior would have lined up outside, he probably could have flourished there too.
Kellar, Grandview's quarterback, atoned for over 300 yards on both the ground and air Thursday night against East Prairie during a 44-12 Grandview win.
The game, which was originally scheduled for tonight, was moved to Thursday because of the possible threat of implicating weather.
"We might want to play on Thursday more often," Grandview head coach Mike Genge said. "The game got switched and we lost a day of practice, but we had to make this long trip count."
With Kellar behind center, they did.
Running a read option offense, Kellar almost always made the right decision against a depleted East Prairie defense.
With his running mate, Christian Murphy, in the backfield beside him, Kellar would either hand off to Murphy or bust through the East Prairie defense for large gains.
"That's something we've been working on for a long time," Kellar said. "The whole offense is starting to come together."
Kellar ran 15 times for 180 yards -- 12 yards per carry. He was also and accurate 11 of 16 passing with 160 yards.
"He's really starting to get the offense," said Genge. "We put the ball in his hands and we've known that he's capable of doing these kinds of things."
Murphy, Grandview's senior running back, ran for 98 yards on 22 carries and scored four touchdowns -- all within 9 yards of the goal line.
That duo made up the biggest chunk of Grandview's 281 total yards on the ground.
"(Kellar and Murphy) did a great job," Genge said, "but the thing about that is we can't do anything without our line. They have really came together. Both of those guys run well and they're hard runners."
East Prairie's defensive front was hit with injuries both during and before Thursday night's game, which, according to East Prairie head coach Chad Jamerson, limited their defensive game plan.
"Unfortunately, we had some kids go down with injuries early, Jamerson said. "We were scrambling and our defensive game plan had to go out the window because of it. We ended up coming out in a very vanilla, base defense and they were able to pick it apart."
Despite the lopsided ending, early signs pointed to a possible shootout in the first quarter.
Four touchdowns were scored within the first 10 minutes and a host of big-yardage plays were present.
Facing a fourth down and one yard to go situation, Kellar scooted for 62 yards on their first drive only to be brought down at the 1-yard line. Murphy punched it in to take the early 7-0 lead.
East Prairie's Jerry Alexander provided the big spark for the Eagles.
On their first play from scrimmage, Alexander bolted for a 62-yard touchdown run leaving all of Grandview's defenders behind him.
East Prairie (0-2) eventually took the lead at 12-7 following another huge gain by Alexander on a punt return.
After Alexander took Grandview's punt for 65 yards, freshman Brett Ellis scored from 2-yards out giving East Prairie a short-lived 12-7 advantage.
"Jerry took the first play and ran it for big yards," Jamerson said. "He turned right around and made a huge play on a punt too. Things were looking pretty snazzy at that moment.
"We just ran out of gas and could not recover."
Murphy trounced inside the goal line from nine yards out to retain Grandview's lead with 2:51 left in the first quarter.
He added his third and fourth touchdown runs in the second quarter. Both came from 1-yard out and expanded Grandview's lead to 31-12 at halftime.
"He's a grinder," Genge said about Murphy. "We always tell him to try and get outside but, he wants the contact. He's a 190-pound back and he wants to lower his shoulder. He's got awesome vision and he's only going to get better."
Grandview do-it-all senior, Kyle Ramsey, caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Kellar to build on to their lead in the third quarter.
Ramsey caught six passes for 61 yards, was 2 for 3 on point after attempts and caught two 2-point conversion passes from Keller, who sealed the game with a 14-yard touchdown scramble with 11:56 left in the fourth quarter.
Alexander led East Prairie on the ground with 74 yards on nine carries -- most of which came from his 62-yard run in the first quarter.
East Prairie totaled 115 offensive yards -- all on the ground -- and only moved the chains three times.
"We made it look easy for them tonight," Jamerson said. "They had that mid-line option play and they were reading it well. (Kellar) was just pulling and hitting the hole. Unfortunately, instead of us sticking with our fundamentals and tackling like we've been coached to do, we stomped our feet and wasn't able to bring them down."
Led by Kellar, Grandview, who coming in to Thursday's game was 0-4 lifetime against East Prairie, had 17 first downs and attained 441 yards of offense.
"Our kids are trying to learn how to win," Genge said. "We made a long bus ride and being in the district down here now and the chances of having to make another bus ride again is huge. We've got to know how to do it."
G -- Christian Murphy 1 run (Kyle Ramsey kick), 9:15
E -- Jerry Alexander 62 run (kick failed), 8:48
E -- Brett Ellis 2 run (run failed), 7:04
G -- Christian Murphy 9 run (Curtis Kellar run), 2:51
G -- Christian Murphy 1 run (Kellar pass to Ramsey), 11:58
G -- Christian Murphy 1 run (Kellar pass to Ramsey), 5:11
G -- Curtis Kellar 30 pass to Kyle Ramsey (Ramsey kick), 4:45
G -- Curtis Kellar 14 run (kick failed) 11:56
Rushing -- Grandview, Curtis Kellar 15-180, Christian Murphy 22-98, Tyler Billingsley 6-23, Michael Wenzelburger 3-7, Team 3-(-27). East Prairie, Jerry Alexander 9-74, Brett Ellis 8-13, Blayn Goodding 15-34, Mack Marcum 1-(-4).
Passing -- Grandview, Curtis Kellar 11-16-0 160. East Prairie, Mack Marcum 1-4-0 -2, Blayn Goodding 0-1-0 0.
Receiving -- Grandview, Caleb Denning 2-81, Kyle Ramsey 6-61, Christian Murphy 2-16, Justin Conn 1-2. East Prairie, Cody Smith 1-(-2).