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RURAL RETREAT -- How do you turn the ball over seven times and still win a football game? That’s the question the Grayson County Blue Devils were asking themselves last Friday night after losing to Rural Retreat 14-6 in a nondistrict game. It was truly a battle of miscues for both teams. The Indians (1-2), who were celebrating their homecoming, had seven turnovers, including four interceptions and losing three of their seven fumbles. The Blue Devils (0-3) had six turnovers. The Indians took the opening kickoff and picked up a quick first down on a pass play. Two passes were incomplete and on third down, Nate Cowley of the Blue Devils intercepted an Indian pass and returned it to the Rural Retreat 42. The Blue Devils failed to move the ball and were forced to punt. On the punt return, the Indians were flagged for an illegal block to the back, moving the ball to their own 4-yard line. A false start moved the ball to the 2-yard line. Rural Retreat, mixing up its running and passing plays, drove 98 yards in seven plays with Tyler Caudill scoring on a 25-yard run with 5:54 left in the first period. The extra point kick was no good. The Blue Devils missed a good scoring opportunity in the first period when a fourth down play was short by a yard at the Rural Retreat 9-yard line. But Grayson County didn’t give up. Omar Larreta gave the Blue Devils good field position early in the second period when he intercepted a pass and returned it to the Indian 11. Quarterback Ethan Hash scored from a yard out to tie the score at 6-6, but a pass to Eric Harvey for the 2-point conversion was broken up. The Indians took the halftime lead with 58 seconds to play in the first half. Caudill fought off several tacklers and sprinted 32 yards for the touchdown. He also added the 2-point conversion on a run up the middle for a 14-6 lead. Grayson County got another scoring opportunity in the third period. Rural Retreat mishandled a punt and the Blue Devils recovered the ball at the Indian 21, eventually driving to the Indian 1-yard line with a first down. Laretta ran the ball for no gain and Hash tried a quarterback sneak but didn’t score. On third down, Hash scored but the Blue Devils were penalized five yards for pushing Hash over the goal line. The real knee breaker came on the next play when Hash tried a pass in the end zone and the Indians picked it off. Blue Devil coach Brett McPherson said after the game that Grayson had plenty of opportunities to win the game but failed to capitalize on them. “We’ve lost three games by 21 points so we’re making progress every week,” McPherson said. “We’re going to keep plugging and we will win a game.” He said the Blue Devils were young but they played hard and gave it a good effort. “We’re no quitters and we will continue to work hard in practice and we will get better,” he added. Rural Retreat finished with 339 yards on the ground, including 235 yards on 21 carries by Caudill, a 5-foot-4, 140-pound freshman. Grayson County 0 6 0 0–– 6 Rural Retreat 6 8 0 0––14
First quarter RR–Caudill 25 run (kick failed) 5:54 Second quarter GC–Hash 1 run (pass failed) 10:54 RR–Caudill 32 run (Caudill run) 2:18 GC RR First downs 9 16 Rushes-yards 28-53 53-339 Yards passing 133 72 Comp-Att-Int 8-26-4 4-11-4 Return yards 96 46 Punts-average 31.3 1-34.0 Fumbles-lost 4-2 7-3 Penalties-yards 10-77 11-100 Individual statistics Rushing–Grayson County, Hash 14-20, Larreta 7-19, Watson 3-12, Preston 4-2. Rural Retreat, Caudill 21-235, Hash 18-109, Hanes 7-43, Holman 2-(-3), Williams 5-(-19), team 1-(-27). Passing–Grayson County, Hash 8-26-4-133. Rural Retreat, Williams 2-9-4-43, Hanes 2-2-29-0. Receiving–Grayson County, Harvey 5-100, Watson 2-22, Larreta 1-11. Rural Retreat, Foster 3-48, Evans 1-24.