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INDEPENDENCE –– Last Friday was a special night for the Grayson County Blue Devils.
A large crowd of fans was on hand to watch their first home game of the season. Their recently renovated athletic field, complete with a new playing surface, was dedicated prior to the game.
But Glenvar played the role of the spoiler as the Highlanders beat the Blue Devils 27-21 in a nondistrict game.
Of course, as the game progressed, the Blue Devils helped the Highlanders as they fumbled four times and had one pass interception while the Highlanders had no turnovers.
After the Grayson defense stopped the Highlanders and forced a punt, Grayson took over at its own 15.
Tyler Lundy, starting in place of Max Rodgers who had a sore hand, hit Ty Cannaday on a long pass good to the 40. On first down, the Blue Devils (2-2) fumbled to end the drive.
Glenvar (2-2) marched downfield after the fumble recovery but the drive stalled at the 12. The Highlanders tried a field goal but it was wide left to end the threat.
Grayson County failed to move the ball on an early drive in the second period and was forced to punt. Glenvar took advantage of good field position and quarterback Alexander Mullins hit Jeremy Martin on a 49-yard scoring pass. The extra point kick failed giving Glenvar the early lead.
Grayson put together a good drive and drove into Glenvar territory when its second fumble of the night ended the effort.
The Highlanders made the Blue Devils pay for their mistake when Mullins hooked up with Martin for a second touchdown pass, this time good for 70 yards. Cory Thompson kicked the extra point for a 13-0 lead.
Glenvar put the Blue Devils in a real hole in the third period when they scored their third touchdown of the game, this one by on a 2-yard run by William Smith. The kick for the extra point was good and Grayson suddenly trailed 20-0.
But Grayson County fought back. After the Blue Devils drove deep into Glenvar territory, Rodgers, who had taken over at quarterback, found Lundy all alone in the end zone for a 22-yard scoring strike. The Blue Devils faked a kick for the extra point and Lundy raced in for the 2-point conversion and a 20-8 lead.
Grayson trimmed the lead to six when Rodgers scored on a 2-yard run but the kick was blocked.
Glenvar took a 27-14 lead in the fourth period when Kyle Clifford scored on a 28-yard pass from Mullins. The extra point kick was good.
The Blue Devils put their best drive of the game in gear in the fourth. After taking over after a punt at their own 20, they drove 80 yards for the touchdown, with Rodgers capping the drive with a 1-yard run. William Peters’ extra point kick was good and the Blue Devils trailed 27-20 with 3:50 remaining.
Grayson had one last chance late in the game. With 1:57 to play, the Blue Devils returned a punt to their own 29. James Williams picked up six yards to the 35 and Rodgers found Williams on second down with a pass good to the 50 and a first down.
Grayson’s fifth turnover took away any hopes of winning after Glenvar intercepted a tipped Rodgers pass at the Glenvar 42.
Blue Devil coach Brett McPherson said he was proud of the way his team played.
“When you fall behind 20-0, you’re in trouble. But they fought back and even put themselves in position to win the game.”
He added, “The players proved tonight that they are not quitters. We’ve got to clean up some of our mistakes if we expect to win a football game.”
The Blue Devils have an open date this week and will return for action Oct. 4 in a game at home against Lee.
Glenvar 27, Grayson Co. 21
Glenvar.....................0 13 7 7––27
Grayson County........0 0 8 13––21
Gl–Mullins 49 pass to Martin (kick failed) 8:28
Gl–Mullins 70 pass to Martin (Thompson kick) 6:12
Gl–Smith 2 run (Thompson kick) 9:10
GC–Lundy 22 pass from Rodgers (Lundy run) 6:30
GC–Rodgers 1 run (kick blocked) 11:10
Gl–Mullins 28 pass to Clifford (Thompson kick) 8:07
GC–Rodgers 2 run (Peters kick) 3:50
First downs 12 17
Rushes-yards 35-170 36-193
Yards passing 252 150
Comp-Att-Int 12-18-0 14-18-1
Return yards 45 60
Punts-average 5-37.6 2-28.5
Fumbles-lost 1-0 4-4
Penalties-yards 7-75 4-30
RUSHING—Glenvar, Smith 31-127, Martin 1-33, Mullins 3-10. Grayson County, Rodgers 10-72, Bilbrey 10-54, Goins 9-41, Williams 7-26.
PASSING–Glenvar, Mullins 12-18-0-252. Grayson County, Rodgers 10-12-1-110, Lundy 4-6-0-48.
RECEIVING–Glenvar, Martin 5-131, Shaffer 2-30, M.Clifford 1-30, K.Clifford 1-28, McKinstry 2-27, Stanley 1-7. Grayson County, Lundy 3-62, Cannaday 6-51, Williams 5-45