- Special Sections
- Public Notices
BLUEFIELD, W.Va. –– Playing a district game for the first time in another state, Grayson County was simply in another league.
The Blue Devils stymied Graham’s offense most of the day while two Grayson runningbacks darted and dashed their way to more than 100 yards each in a 36-17 MED win Saturday at venerable Mitchell Stadium.
Grayson County improved to 5-1 overall, 1-0 in the district on the damp and chilly afternoon while Graham dropped to 4-2, 0-1.
“I felt like we executed well early, but I didn’t think we were playing real hard,” Grayson coach Brett McPherson said. “As the game progressed we got lined up and cut back on a few little mistakes, and we kinda did what we came in to do.”
Following a scoreless third quarter, the Blue Devils added 15 points to what had been a 21-11 lead. Grayson needed but seven plays to travel 76 yards, the final 53 of which was covered when Spencer Roberts took a short toss from Max Rodgers and sprinted unimpeded the rest of the way 16 seconds into the fourth quarter. John Bilbrey ran for the two-point conversion and a 29-11 lead with 11:44 to play.
Isaac Osborne picked off a Graham pass at his own 41 to set up Grayson’s final score. The Devils moved 59 yards in 12 plays, converting a fourth-and-2 along the way, and finished the drive with a 5-yard Roberts touchdown on a sweep to the left.
Mario Ruiz’s PAT had Grayson up 36-11 with 5:30 left.
Graham added a late touchdown with 28 seconds to go on a 30-yard Spencer Sheets pass to Colby Hill against Grayson’s second defense. The scoring play and a 41-yard pass completion in the first quarter accounted for more than one-third of the G-Men’s production on the day.
The Blue Devils gave up just 75 yards on 33 Graham rushes while catching the G-Men behind the line of scrimmage eight times. Graham managed just 18 yards on 13 rushes after halftime. Sheets was 6-of-11 for 117 yards but Grayson came away with three interceptions.
“I thought we did a really good job defensively recognizing their sets and stopping [Sheets],” McPherson said. “He’s slippery and he’s tough, and they’ve been playing with a lot of confidence and won some big games, and I’m pretty tickled.”
The Blue Devils scored on their opening drive, a 66-yard, 11-play march finished by Rodgers’ 8-yard pass to a leaping Roberts in the end zone.
An interception and 41-yard return by the G-Men’s Cody Hatfield set up a one-play possession as Hatfield ran in from the 13 on the next play.
Charles Benfield’s run tacked on two points for an 8-7 Graham lead, but Grayson answered on its next possession. Roberts zigzagged 25 yards to the 1 and Rodgers powered in from there to cap a 59-yard, 10-play drive, though a failed two-point attempt left the Devils up by just five, 13-8, late in the first quarter.
Sheets was thrown for a 2-yard loss on a fourth-and-4, giving Grayson the ball at its own 34, and Bilbrey ripped off a 66-yard TD run two plays later, adding a two-point conversion for a 21-8 lead six minutes before the half.
Graham managed a 32-yard Samuel Stowers field goal to close the half with the Blue Devils up 21-11.
Bilbrey finished with 157 yards on 21 carries while Roberts added 112 yards on 15 attempts, plus 69 yards and two scores on three receptions.
“They’re not very big, but we try to give them quick stuff,” McPherson said. “We don’t ask them to run through people. They’re starting to keep their heads up and slide and move, and sometimes they get behind that big line and I swear, I don’t think you can see Spencer at times.”
Grayson County......13 8 0 15––36
Graham....................8 3 0 6––17
GC–Roberts 8 pass from Mx.Rodgers (Ruiz kick) 7:39
Gr–Hatfield 13 run (Benfield run) 5:30
GC–Mx.Rodgers 1 run (run failed) 0:24
GC–Bilbrey 66 run (Bilbrey run) 6:00
Gr–Stowers 32 FG, 0:41
GC–Roberts 53 pass from Mx.Rodgers (Bilbrey run) 11:44
GC–Roberts 10 run (Ruiz kick) 5:30
Gr–Hill 30 pass from Sheets (run failed) 0:28
First downs 19 11
Rushes-yards 51-289 33-75
Yards passing 87 117
Comp-Att-Int 5-14-1 6-13-3
Return yards 20 66
Punts-average 2-22.0 4-29.3
Fumbles-lost 2-0 0-0
Penalties-yards 11-81 5-46
RUSHING—Grayson County, Bilbrey 21-157, Roberts 15-112, Mx.Rodgers 9-22, Lundy 1-7, Goins 1-0, Smith 2-(-5), team 2-(-4). Graham, Hatfield 14-35, Thompson 5-29, Sheets 8-14, Mooney 2-3, Large 1-(-2), Wheeler 3-(-9), team 0-5.
PASSING–Grayson County, Mx.Rodgers 5-14-1-87. Graham, Sheets 6-11-2-117, Stowers 0-2-1-0.
RECEIVING–Grayson County, Roberts 3-69, Mk.Rodgers 2-18. Graham, Large 3-51, Hatfield 1-41, Hill 1-30, Sheets 1-(-5).