CORRECTIONVILLE -- Remsen St. Mary's coach Brad Gralheer wouldn't have blamed spectators if they left the game early.
Gralheer knows not to quit on his kids. The Hawks have come back from deficits all year and did it against River Valley Friday night in Correctionville. RSM trailed 28-8 with 8:56 left in the third quarter, but wouldn't give up. The Hawks stormed back with a strong passing game to beat the Wolverines 48-42.
"It was quite a win," said Gralheer, who is in his fifth-year coaching the Hawks. "We could've made it easier on ourselves, but we didn't give up."
RSM (3-4, 3-6) has not been an easy team to put away this fall. Against River Valley, the Hawks were finally able to put it all together to come away victorious during their difficult schedule.
River Valley (2-5, 4-6) took advantage of RSM's four turnovers in the first half. Off those four RSM miscues, the Wolverines scored touchdowns three times.
"Other than that, we played well," a laughing Gralheer said.
It took until midway through the third quarter for the Hawks to get going. Cody Colling and Beau Pick were two seniors who did not want to lose their final game.
Colling performed well in the passing game as he went 19-for-35 for 367 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. Pick caught five of those scores and Tyler Nielsen caught the other.
"Beau and Cody surely won't forget this game," Gralheer said, "Because it surely looked like a loss."
The two seniors were big reasons why the game became a victory. Pick caught 11 passes for 244 yards. To go with Colling's big passing game, with a majority in the second half, he also ran 16 times for 58 yards. Nielsen led the run game with 90 yards and Cody Koenck carried the ball 12 times for 45 yards. Travis Schroeder ran the ball once for five yards.
Pick had the big game receiving, but wasn't alone. Jon Ahlers caught three balls for 54 yards, Tyler Delperdang caught one pass for 16 yards and Koenck caught a pass out of the backfield for 10 yards.
RSM's defense also came up big in the come-from-behind win. Nielsen led with 12 tackles and Micheal Nasers was next with 11 stops. Nathan Roder had two solo tackles for a loss.
The two big seniors also came up big defensively. Pick had two solo sacks and Colling came away with an interception.
This was a big win for the Hawks. They got their third win of the year as they had a tough schedule. All six of the teams they lost to advanced to the postseason. Also, those six teams have a combined record of 45-10.
Gralheer thought his guys had a great season despite the record. He said the seniors were part of big things. This year's seniors are Colling, Pick, Ahlers, Koenck, Seth Schroeder, Russel Schroeder, Nick Weiler and Derek Plendl.