LORAINE – Grady had a good start and a strong finish, but Loraine had one mighty quarter giving them the edge in a 38-28 victory in Loraine on Friday.
Grady started the game off strong with a quick eight points. Loraine scored a touchdown of their own but missed the conversion giving the Wildcats an 8-6 advantage.
The second quarter was a defensive battle with neither team scoring any points.
Grady had two huge opportunities but were thwarted by the Bulldogs both times. The first opportunity came after Grady broke loose for a 40 yard run. The Bulldogs defender stripped the ball away at the last second saving a touchdown.
On the final play of the first half, Grady was on the one yard line and just could not punch it in. Instead of being down by almost 20 points, Loraine trailed by just two point at halftime.
The start of the second half was a point explosion for Loraine scoring 32 unanswered points for a 38-8 lead.
Grady returned the favor in the fourth quarter with 20 points, but the hole was too big to climb out of giving Loraine a decisive 10 point margin of victory.
The difference in the two halves was attributed to turnover and conditioning.
“The first half we were able to get turnovers and the second half we turned the ball over,” said Grady coach Chris Short. “In the second half we got tired. Several times we had players out of the game with cramps and resting them for a few plays.”
Despite the loss, Short mentioned the team improved on several fronts.
“Our defense improved the most along with our attitude. These 10 kids are showing a lot of heart playing both ways without much rest,” he said. “We tackled better overall and our defense did a great job and kept us in the game when the offence struggled. We were down 30 points and the kids fought back and scored 20 straight points. Very proud of this group for not quitting.”
Grady will travel to Klondike this Friday for a 7:30 p.m. match-up.
Klondike will be the best offense Grady has faced this year. They have a lot of speed at the skill positions and will look to throw the ball most of the time.
Grady will look to limit it turnover and will use its run game to control the clock in an attempt to not get into a scoring shootout.
Caden Hayes completed five passes for 118 yards and one touchdown and Hunter McAnally completed three passes for 87 yards and one touchdown.
Hayes was the teams top rusher with 100 yards and one touchdown. Isaiah Ontiveros gained 29 yards and scored a touchdown while Kody Cates picked up 11 yards, Frankie Jimenez gained six yards and Arath Alarcon had two yards.
The Wildcat’s top receiver was Cooper Wallin who hauled in two catches for 52 yards and two touchdowns. Ontiveros had a big night with three receptions for 83 yards and Alarcon had two receptions for 68 yards.
Grady’s defense was led by Hayes with 12 tackles and Jimenez with 11 tackles.
McAnally and Ontiverous racked up nine tackles each followed by Cated with eight, Alarcon four, Wallin four, and Hunter Blaylock one.
Other defensive leaders were McAnally and Ontiverous with one interception each and Alarcon with two fumble recoveries.
Players of the game for Grady went to Caden Hayes for his overall performance, Cooper Wallin for offense, Isaiah Ontiveros for defense and Kates for special teams.