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WYTHEVILLE -- Grayson County battled George Wythe to the end last Friday night before losing the opening game of the Region C Division 2 playoffs, 21-14 at Pendleton Field.
It was the first time the Blue Devils had advanced to the playoffs since 2007 and ironically it was against George Wythe.
The Blue Devils fought from behind twice to tie the game at 7 and 14.
The Maroons (7-3) got on the scoreboard on their opening drive.
After returning the opening kickoff to its own 31, the Maroons tried a running play but the runner was nailed in the backfield by Darren Anderson for a 4-yard loss.
George Wythe got good yardage on two long pass plays and on first down from the 27, Isaac Young broke through the Blue Devil defense for a 20-yard touchdown run with less than two minutes ticked of the clock in the opening quarter. The kick was good and the Maroons led 7-0.
After forcing a Blue Devil punt, the Maroons put together another good drive only to have it stopped at the Blue Devil 34 by a good defensive effort and failing to convert a fourth-down play.
The Blue Devils marched down field behind the running of quarterback Ethan Hash and running backs Xavier Rodriguez and Anderson.
The big play of the drive came on a 27-yard pass completion from Hash to Mikey Rodgers good to the 6-yard-line.
Rodriguez picked up five yards on first down and Hash carried it into the end zone on the next play. A kick by Mario Ruiz tied the score at 7.
George Wythe intercepted a Hash pass and set up another touchdown, returning the ball to the Blue Devil 6. Young scored his second touchdown of the game on a 5-yard run.
Grayson County tied the score with 6:06 left in the third period when Eric Harvey hauled in a Hash pass for a 62-yard touchdown. Ruiz kicked the extra point to tie the score at 14.
Young scored what turned out to be the winning touchdown with 2:30 to play in the third period.
Grayson had a game-tying touchdown called back in the fourth because of an illegal block in the back.
The Blue Devils had one last-ditch scoring drive that stalled at the Maroon 20 with 2:37 to play.
The Grayson defense forced a Maroon fumble with less than a minute to play. After a first down incomplete pass, the Blue Devils fumbled inside the 10 and the Maroons recovered and ran the clock out.
Blue Devil coach Brett McPherson said both teams battled hard for the win but the Maroons pulled it off.
“I’m proud of the kids for having a good season and making the playoffs,” McPherson said. “We had our chances tonight but they didn’t work out.”
McPherson said Rodriguez injured his foot in the first half and this hampered the running game.
Grayson County..... 7 0 7 0––14
George Wythe........ 7 7 7 0––21
GW–Young 20 run (Hawks kick) 10:10
GC–Hash 1 run (Ruiz kick) 0:30
GW–Young 5 run (Hawks kick) 7:52
GC–Harvey 62 pass from Hash (Ruiz kick) 6:06
GW–Young 20 run (Hawks kick) 2:30
First downs 13 12
Rushes-yards 31-67 46-247
Yards passing 151 61
Comp-Att-Int 6-20-2 3-7-0
Return yards 49 69
Punts-average 4-19.0 3-36.6
Fumbles-lost 2-1 3-1
Penalties-yards 5-35 6-52
RUSHING—Grayson County, Rodriguez 9-34, Hash 14-32, Anderson 6-15, Watson 1-(-9). George Wythe, Young 13-104, Hall 11-99, Tolley 11-46, Castenon 3-15, Price 2-3, Willis 5-(-20).
PASSING–Grayson County, Hash 6-20-1-111, Rodriguez 0-1-0-0. George Wythe, Willis 3-7-0-61.
RECEIVING–Grayson County, Harvey 4-113, Mk.Rodgers 1-26. George Wythe, Lester 1-32, Tolley 1-15, Calfee 1-14.