MANLIUS – When Bryce Grant comes to the line of scrimmage, the Fulton quarterback knows defenses have a lot to worry about.
There’s the bruising fullback Austin Rash. There’s the shifty Austin Schroeder. There’s the will-crushing offensive line that the two get to run behind.
He knows sometimes defenses can get worried about all that and forget about him.
Grant made his presence known early during Friday’s 48-8 win over Bureau Valley in matchup of previously undefeated TRAC Rock teams.
“You know it’s great when the offense gets rolling,” Grant said. “The goal is to get yards, and we were able to do that on every play tonight. A lot of that credit goes to the line.
“I think my long run early opened things up a bit on the inside for our other runners. It forced them to stay honest in case of a fake.”
After a turnover on downs stalled a promising Bureau Valley (2-1, 0-1) drive to open the game, Grant faked a handoff and took the ball around end for 38 yards to the BV 10. Two plays later, Grant scored on a 5-yard run.
“We have a lot plays in the book for Byrce to do things both with his legs and his arms,” Fulton coach Patrick Lower said. “We know he’s capable of making big plays. We like the downhill running, but there are other things we can do.”
Grant had a 21-yard TD run in the third quarter that set the running-clock in motion, and a 23-yard TD pass to Tyler Bruggenwirth in the second quarter. Grant finished with 68 rushing yards; the Steamers ran for 343 yards.
Austin Schroeder had 144 yards and two TDs, and Austin Rash had 103 yards and two TDs for Fulton (3-0, 1-0). Tyler Fleetwood added a TD run in the fourth quarter.
Bureau Valley’s offense struggled after that opening drive stalled out at the Fulton 38-yard line. Quarterback Tyler Gustafson was 14-for-30 for 135 yards, but he was also picked off three times.
“They took away a lot of the things that we wanted to do,” Bureau Valley coach Joe Schmitt said. “That first drive had some nice points, and we were able to convert on a long third down, but you have to hand it to Fulton.”
“We wanted to put as much pressure on their quarterback as possible,” Grant said. “Once we started doing that, we started getting interceptions, and then had a couple sacks.”
BV’s lone score was a 4-yard pass from Gustafson to Kale Barrett late in the fourth quarter.
Fulton 48, Bureau Valley 8
Star of the game: Austin Schroeder, Fulton, 16 carries, 144 yards, 2 TDs, and an interception on defense
He said it: “There’s no other way to put it, that was just an old-fashioned butt-whooping. I have to tip my cap to Coach Lower. He really had that team prepared and has them firing on all cylinders.” - Bureau Valley coach Joe Schmitt.