Stanton-Essex survives bizarre opener and prepares for Fremont-Mills | Sports


(Stanton) – After a bizarre season opener that resulted in a win, the Stanton-Essex Vikings (1-0) now look to a Week 2 battle with Fremont-Mills (0-1)

Stanton-Essex defeated Martensdale-St. Mary’s (0-1) 20-8 last week in a wild game that saw six turnovers.

“[Martensdale-St. Mary’s] offense, like our offense, spat, had penalties, made mistakes,” Stanton-Essex head coach Jeff Grebin said. “But they put the ball on the ground several times inside the five [yard line] and that was quite honestly the difference in the game.”

Although Stanton-Essex added to its win column, Martensdale-St. Mary’s edged the Vikings 301-161 in total offensive yards.

“We came out of this game scratching our heads on a few points,” Grebin said. “Offensively, we really struggled. Our execution, guys knowing where to line up, it was all just a little off. Honestly, it had more to do with Martensdale-St. Mary’s…they did a really good job of setting us up on the defensive end.

Despite offensive mishaps, Stanton-Essex’s defensive and special units carried the team to victory. The Vikings scored two non-offensive touchdowns.

After Martensdale-St. Mary’s scored on the opening possession, Stanton-Essex’s Gavin Ford returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown. Later in the match, Jonan Wookey took a Martensdale-St. Mary’s fumbling home to seal the game for the Vikings.

“The special teams were where things really shone for us,” Grebin said. “[After Martensdale-St. Mary’s] scored in that first practice, we returned the kick and it was really exciting. It got our guys going in the right direction.

It wasn’t pretty, but Stanton-Essex came away with a 1-0 record and will now carry that record into a game against Fremont-Mills (0-1).

The Knights lost to defending champions CAM State in a 26-25 thriller, but still sit in third place in KMAland’s Week Two Power Rankings.

” We need to take [the stuff we did well] and build on it,” Grebin said. “Knowing FM, with their size and strength and aggression, they’re going to take some of that stuff away from us. Hopefully we can have enough pieces put together and enough strategies, “Plan Z” if we need them, to try and come up with something that will succeed.

Offensive execution will be key for the Vikings and conjuring up a tenacious Knights defense will be a challenge.

“We have to be successful on the ground and in the air,” Grebin said. “It will be another situation where we are 70 to 100 pounds lighter than the guys on the other side of the line, so we just have to keep our heads up and stay positive. Hopefully we can give our quarterback when we throw the ball and provide a path for our runners when we run it.

Stanton-Essex have lost 11 of their last 12 meetings with Fremont-Mills, the lone win coming in 2017. Last season, the Knights beat the Vikings 64-36.

“[F-M] knows us very well and we know them very well,” Grebin said. “I hope it’s a good dogfight… We just have to be resilient and keep fighting. Just keep getting up, coming back to huddle, and hugging each other.

Fremont-Mills will host Stanton-Essex at Tabor on Friday at 7 p.m.

Listen to Grebin’s full interview below and catch all of KMA Sports’ football coverage Friday night from 6:20pm to midnight.

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