Kaplan wins behind Frick's return

Grant Frick sits after having a great game for Kaplan.

KAPLAN - The Kaplan Pirates moved on to round two of the Class 3A state playoffs with a solid win over the Brusly Panthers on Friday night.
The 24-7 victory was due in large part to the return of Grant Frick. The senior back spent several weeks out due to a collar bone break, but his return brought a lot of options to the table for Kaplan.
The game started out with a “punch in the mouth,” as Kaplan coach Stephen Lotief said. Brusly pounded its way down the field for an early seven points. However, that put the defensive line on notice. They were able to stop the Panthers for the rest of the night.
Meanwhile, the Pirates offense went on to dominate throughout the first quarter. A Kaplan drive down the field was helped out by a 30-yard run down the field by Frick. Immediately afterward, quarterback Jade Herpin found Frick for a 29-yard touchdown pass. A 2-point conversation made it an 8-7 game in the Pirates’ favor.
Julius Johnson on the subsequent drive to set Frick up for another touchdown. Johnson powered his way through the Brusly offense for a 28-yard run. Frick, on the next play, ran another 27 yards for his second touchdown and second 2-point conversion of the night. And all of that was in the first quarter alone.
The Pirates would score later in the third quarter with
another 28-yard run from Frick, leaving him with 22 points total for the night.
Lotief praised his offensive and defensive lines for their performance on the night. “You can’t do it without the line,” he said. “You can ask any player. Jade [Herpin] will tell you, Julius will tell you, Grant will tell you.”
Johnson agreed.
“I honor those guys on the line,” he explained. “They take a lot of his for us, and if they can take it for me, I can take a few hits for them.
“That’s why they call them men and us backs,” he added. “They do a lot of work out there.”
Frick, fresh from a nearly season-ending injury, was excited to be out on the field after such a long time off.
“It sucked,” he said. “You’re sitting on the sidelines for several games and you can’t be part of the wins. You can’t be part of the losses.
“It was exciting to be back,” he went on. “It was a great game.”
For Frick, it was a stellar game. He got 167 yards on 15 carries, and 38 yards receiving. Overall, he picked up 22 points on three touchdowns and two 2-point conversions.
Johnson also had a huge night, with 151 yards in 29 carries. Herpin went 3-for-5 in passing with no interceptions, 53 yards passing and one passing touchdown. He also picked up the final 2-point conversion for the Pirates.
Next week, the Pirates will take on the Winnfield Tigers, who came into the playoffs ranked No. 25.

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