Cade Granzow has been on a wild ride the past eight days.

First, he got knocked out of playoff win over Cane Ridge with a knee injury on the third play of the game last week.

Then on Wednesday he signed a letter of intent with Auburn in baseball and will also be a preferred walk-on in football.  

The senior quarterback put an exclamation point on the eight-day stretch by throwing the winning touchdown pass with 18 seconds left in a 31-28 victory over visiting Independence in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs Friday night.

“I’d say he had a pretty good week, wouldn’t you,” said Bruins coach Ron Crawford, whose team will host Franklin (7-5) in next week’s quarterfinals.

Trailing by five points on fourth and goal at the Independence 4-yard line, Granzow rolled out to his left.

He couldn’t find an open receiver, so he tucked the football into his left arm to run.

An Eagles defender closed in on him at the 5 so he under-armed the ball to wide-open senior Luke Fontechia in the back-left corner of the end zone.

“I know that that play was kind of crazy, but it kind of describes just kind of how bad I want it and how bad a lot of these seniors want it,” Granzow said. “I knew that I’ve got one play left and either I score and we have a chance to play next week or we don’t score and that’s the last play of my high school career. So I had to get it done.”

Did he ever.

Granzow passed for 179 yards and two TDs and rushed for 102 yards and two TDs, accounting for all four of the Bruins’ touchdowns.

“I’ve coached 36 years and I don’t know if I’ve ever met a better competitor in my whole coaching career,” Crawford said. “His toughness is greatly appreciated and his competitive spirit is just incredible.”

Things looked bad for Brentwood (9-3) after it fell behind 21-7 at halftime and lost Tennessee commit Walker Merrill to a hamstring injury early in the third quarter.

But the Bruins found a way just like last week when they lost 34 players to injuries and contact tracing for the coronavirus pandemic.

Merrill broke the school single-season record for receptions with his 72nd catch before the injury.   

“(Granzow) is an incredible player, an incredible athlete,” Eagles coach Scott Blade said. “He put his team on his back and grounded out a win like that.”

Tre Hartwell’s 51-yard TD run gave Independence a 28-17 lead with 7:39 left.

The Bruins narrowed it to 28-23 on Granzow’s 20-yard TD pass to Fontechia in the right corner of the end zone with 4:37 left.

Independence quarterback Jaxson Campbell, a 6A Mr. Football semifinalist, ran for two TDs and passed for another in the first half.

Hartwell, a sophomore, rushed for over 130 yards and one TD.

“These are two of the best teams in the state playing in the second round of the playoffs,” Blade said. “That’s any classification. These are two high-powered teams with a lot of tradition and history.”

Brentwood avenged a 26-21 loss to Indy on Oct. 24.

“You can’t count this team out,” Crawford said of his team’s resiliency. “It was a pretty incredible turn of events.”

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