OAKLAND. N.E. (KCAU) – The Oakland-Craig Knights have become a formidable opponent in Class C-2 for nearly a decade. After they won the state title in 2019, the program elevated from solid into superior, producing talent that most schools can only hope for.
The Knights fell short of their back-to-back goal in the state semifinals against Ord in 2020, along with the loss of five all-state players to graduation. But the Knights are left in good hands with the experience they have returning to the field for this fall, and it hasn’t changed their mission of bringing the state title back to Oakland.
Starting quarterback/free safety Grady Gatewood enters his senior campaign coming off a prolific junior season. The senior threw for 1,239 yards with 11 TDs, while returning senior wide receiver/cornerback Carson Thomsen reeled in 317 yards. We should expect a similar offensive connection between Gatewood and Thomsen this year.
Defensively, Mike Brandts, Caden Nelson, and Gunnar Ray finished with a combined 217 tackles, all of whom were seniors last year. But the Knights plan to utilize much of their two-way players to step into the roles, which will be aided by a deep defensive line.
In spite of the loss of their leader rusher Coulter Thiele, returners such as senior Tavin Uhing will look to power their go-to ground attack. Nevertheless, there are multiple routes their offensive game plan could take with who the Knights have coming back. This fall should be exciting, and the Knights are ready for it.
Oakland-Craig kicks off their 2021 season hosting Ponca on August 27.