WHITNEY — Kason English is good at football.
The Grandview junior playmaker scored three touchdowns — on a 50-yard reception, a three-yard reception and a 69-yard punt return — in the first quarter alone to help the No. 7-ranked Zebras get off and running en route to a 55-10 win Friday night at Whitney. By night’s end, English accounted for five touchdowns in four different ways: two receiving touchdowns, a punt return, a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown.
“He’s a special player,” Grandview Coach Ryan Ebner said. “As a coach, you try to find different ways to get his hands on the football and to me Friday night was just that. He got to touch it in a bunch of different ways and whenever he’s got the ball in his hands, he’s very dangersou and does a lot of good things. Friday was a perfect storm of that with him being able to score so many different ways.”
Grandview improved to 8-1 overall and 5-0 in District 7-3A Division I play as the Zebras have out-scored opponents by 236 points in league play.
After a stretch of playing outmatched opponents in district play, Ebner said he was proud to see the intensity and passion the Zebras played with on Friday.
“I think they were fired up to play a good team in a meaningful game,” Ebner said. “It’s been a little bit since we had done that. I was very proud of how energized and fired up they were coming out of the locker room. I felt like they did their job the right way. Once they jumped on them, they were able to continue to do their job the right way the whole time and they kept playing football the Grandview way. It was great to see. With the district championship vs. West coming up and then the playoffs, I think we’re hitting our stride and continuing to get better. I was very pleased with the passion and desire they played with Friday night.”
On English’s first score of the night, he took a short screen pass from Ryder Hayes and broke four tackles on his way into the end zone from 50 yards out.
After a three-yard touchdown pass from Hayes to English, the Zebras added a field goal for a 17-0 lead before English fielded a Whitney punt and raced 69 yards for a touchdown and a 24-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Zebras tacked on another field goal before Whitney got on the scoreboard with a field goal of its own. English then closed the first half the way he opened it: in the end zone, this time on a one-yard run to give the Zebras a 34-3 halftime lead.
If English’s first-half heroics weren’t enough, he added to it in the second half when he broke a tackle and then, with a defender hanging on to him, he tossed a one-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Castillo as the Zebras pushed their lead to 41-3.
With 7:35 left in the third quarter, Hayes connected with Brandon Click on a 20-yard touchdown pass that made it 48-3.
Late in the third quarter, Whitney scored its lone touchdown of the night on a 46-yard run by Dalton Wooten.
Early in the fourth, Hayes hooked up with Hudson Ross for a 26-yard touchdown to produce the final margin.
English’s final stat line included 97 receving yards on five receptions as he had a hand in five touchdowns. Hayes completed 16-of-28 passes for 203 yards and four touchdowns. And Castillo toted the rock 21 times for 125 yards.
Up next for Grandview is the district championship showdown against No. 6 West (8-0, 4-0) in week 10. The Zebras will then have a week 11 bye before beginning postseason play.