Grundy Center beginning district play at East Marshall

The #1 (1A) Grundy Center football team will begin district play at East Marshall Friday night.

The Spartans will begin district play in Class 1A after several years in Class A. They’re coming off a 3-0 non-district slate, where the results seemingly improved each week, punctuated by a 38-6 win over Pella Christian last week.

A balanced offense has been led by dual-threat quarterback Colin Gordon, who has thrown for 380 yards and ran for 223 yards. Justin Knaack and Brody Zinkula have played complimentary football at running back, each averaging about five yards per carry.

Defensively, Zinkula has racked up 20.5 tackles through the first three games. The team has held each of its opponents to just one touchdown.

East Marshall went 1-2 in non-district play, and gave up a late lead in last week’s 36-28 loss at Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont. The Mustangs have not won more than two games in a season since 2017. Despite the odds being heavily in his team’s favor, Grundy Center Head Coach Travis Zajac says his team has been preparing like usual.

"They've struggled a bit, but our approach does not change from one week to the next," Zajac says. "Everyone wants to take their shot, and we have to be ready for it. East Marshall will be game. They'll probably have some wrinkles up their sleeve that they'll be ready to roll out against us. But we'll have our kids ready to play, and we'll go down there and have a good night."

The NICL-West schools have not met in football since the 2002-2003 district cycle, and East Marshall holds a 2-0 series advantage. The kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. in Le Grand.

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