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Grangers Take Some Momentum to Columbus for Region Encounter

Grangers Take Some Momentum to Columbus for Region Encounter

Chris Fernsler

Sports Editor

After a week of nursing their wounds and massaging their muscles, La-Grange High is rested and ready after its open date.

The remainder of the football season is right in front of the Grangers, starting with tonight’s Region 2-AAAA road game against the Columbus High Blue Devils at Kinnett Stadium.

Columbus and La-Grange High will meet at 7:30 p.m. The Grangers are hyped and hopeful. They know what they have to do to win on the road.

“We have to play physical. We have to play as a team. We’ve been working. LaGrange High is coming back (this season),” said Granger senior offensive tackle Elijah Quimbayo (6-foot-6, 270 pounds).

Quimbayo is convinced. So far, it appears quite possible. There is a new regime in town. Coach Matt Napier is in charge of the LHS football program now.

And the Grangers have responded relatively well to this point in the young season. LaGrange High is an even-keeled 1-1 right now. The Grangers have played some good football, as well as some mediocre ball.

But LaGrange High has a team that believes in the head coach, the workout regimen and the play calling. The Grangers are a little less concerned with statistics and a little more dialed in with winning this year.

LaGrange High will take some momentum into tonight’s game in Columbus. The 1-1 Grangers beat the Northside Patriots, 35-28 in overtime in their last game two weeks ago at Callaway Stadium.

The Grangers have their nostrils to the grindstone. They know what wins football games. Napier constantly tells the boys the how, the where and the why.

“We’re improving daily. We are trying to eliminate the mistakes. We have the ability to overcome adversity. We still need to execute (against Columbus High),” said Napier.

Granger senior defensive back Jarno Huzzie thinks LaGrange High will win its second straight game tonight against the 0-2 Blue Devils. But for a football program like the Grangers, which hasn’t had a winning season in nine years, nothing can be taken for granted.

“We need to keep playing. We are not a one-man Army,” said the 5-foot-9, 178-pound Huzzie.

And the Grangers need to let their natural instincts take over. As for Huzzie, he’s been clocked at 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He will need some of that bare-knuckle football speed on the road against Columbus High School.

The Grangers, unranked as they are, have a long way to go. But it just so happens, Matt Napier gave LaGrange High a road map.

And the Grangers plan on using it tonight in Columbus

The author of this article can be reached via email at [email protected]

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