Grand Lake turns away Vinton thanks to Zaunbrecher’s two-way play

Published 2:34 pm Friday, August 27, 2021

SULPHUR — Kent Zaunbrecher caught a touchdown pass and knocked away a Vinton fourth-down pass in the last 2 minutes to lead Grand Lake to an 8-7 win over Vinton in the opening game of the Sulphur/ SPOT Billy Navarre Jamboree.

Vinton opened the scoring on its first possession of the game, with Reese Borel scoring on a 24-yard screen pass from Lukas Bunting.

That same duo also connected on a 26-yard pass earlier in the drive.

Grand Lake responded right away, driving 63 yards in 10 plays. On fourth-and-2, Connor Guillotte found Zaunbrecher near the right sideline for a 22-yard touchdown.

Grand Lake head coach Jeff Wainwright said Zaunbrecher is poised for a big season.

“He’s turned the corner,” Wainwright said of Zaunbrecher. “He played in every game last season as a sophomore. He kept working and getting better and better.”

Nate Murrell scored on a 2-point conversion run.

The touchdown was the lone pass Grand Lake attempted in 26 snaps.

Murrell finished with 38 rushing yards. Ian Vigo led the Hornets with 48.

“Vinton did a good job of taking the outside away, so we had to grind it out between the tackles,” Wainwright said. “But that’s the kind of team we’re going to have to be this year.”

Vinton moved the ball by ground and air, running for 58 yards and throwing for 87.

After recovering a Hornets fumble with 2:33 left, the Lions drove to the Grand Lake

26. On fourth-and-9, Bunting threw to Borel near the goal line, but Zaunbrecher reached and tipped the ball away to preserve the Hornets win.