Meskwaki runs over Twin Cedars

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - Meskwaki quarterback Taurice Grant (1) carries the ball across the goal line in front of Twin Cedars defender Brenden Connett (20) during Friday’s non-district football game at Meskwaki Settlement.

MESKWAKI SETTLEMENT — The common theme after Meskwaki’s convincing 74-12 victory over Twin Cedars Friday night? Relief.

The Warriors were in need of a good performance after two losses in a row where the team turned close games into double-digit defeats. A week of practice was up-and-down leading into the Homecoming contest, but the Warriors came out and scored an early touchdown on a run from Taurice Grant with 8:28 left in the first quarter. Meskwaki’s two-point conversion attempt fell short, but the tone for the game was set.

It was the first of seven touchdown involvements for Grant — five rushing touchdowns and two touchdown passes to Evan Nelson — and a big confidence boost for the senior.

Grant said it was an important day.

“Today the line held up and I did what I could do and made plays,” Grant said. “I’m proud of my friends, proud of my guys.”

After a touchdown from Twin Cedars to tie the game following a Meskwaki fumble, the Warriors took back the lead with 3:45 left in the first quarter on a 28-yard run from Daymon Rosenberger. Grant ran in the two-point conversion and the Warriors never relinquished the lead.

Victor Balderas forced a fumble and recovered it on the next Twin Cedars possession and two plays later, Grant threw a touchdown to Nelson from 16 yards out. The score was 22-6.

Grant would score with a 79-yard run on Meskwaki’s next possession to make the score 30-6.

Head coach Andre Roberts said the offense getting its confidence back is a big plus as the season winds down.

“Offensive line did a good job,” Roberts said. “In the past, they were getting a little frustrated, they were not doing what we expected. We put a little extra work in on them all week.”

Another Grant-to-Nelson connection, this time nearly 50 yards, gave the Warriors a 38-6 lead. Following a Nelson interception, Grant scored from nine yards out. Twin Cedars scored its final points of the game with 57 seconds left in the first half to cut the deficit to 44-12. Grant scored again before the half, and the 52-12 halftime lead meant the game was a formality at that point, with the running clock being utilized the entirety of the second half.

Grant scored with the first possession of the second half, and then was resting on the sideline for the rest of the game. Two pick-sixes in the third quarter from Nelson sealed the deal and ended the scoring, giving the Warriors their joint highest-scoring game of the year (a 74-50 win in week two over GMG). Backups played most of the fourth quarter.

Grant said Nelson was struggling and it was good to see him bounce back.

“He had a big year last year, and this year he’s kind of struggled,” Grant said. “He held on and waited for his chance. He got his chance, and this is what he does, he makes a surprise for all of us.”

The Warriors are at .500 with one final game left in the regular season, a trip to BGM Oct. 9 at 7 p.m.

Meskwaki is now rolling in with confidence, Roberts said.

“Going in against BGM, we needed something to pick up our spirits and pick up our confidence,” Roberts said. “These boys work hard in practice. A few things to work on this week, but all in all this is a good victory.”