By Will Johnson
GRAPELAND – It was a game the Sandies could have won but as Grapeland AD/Head Coach Wayne Mahaffey said after the game, “It’s a team game and everybody did their part in not executing.”
Grapeland welcomed the Timpson Bears to town on Friday night for a district showdown. It was Homecoming for the Sandies and prior to the game Sayler LeBlanc was crowned as the 2016 Homecoming Queen and Joel Barbosa was crowned as the 2016 Homecoming King.
After the Homecoming festivities concluded, the two teams went about their and played a little football. While the Sandies played well at times, it simply wasn’t enough as the Bears left the Sandies scratching their heads following the 26-12 loss and second consecutive district defeat.
The game started with Grapeland in possession of the ball at their own 43 yard line. A designed quarterback run by Rick Frauenberger picked up 16 yards and moved the Sandies into Bear territory. Frauenberger lost seven yards on the next play and his first pass of the game was incomplete. Faced with a third and long situation, Frauenberger threw deep to Rodney Davis.
The ball was slightly underthrown and Timpson’s Jordan Osby was able to pick off the pass and returned it to the Grapeland 47 yard line. A facemask penalty moved the ball inside the 35 yard line of the Sandies and marked the start of flag season in Grapeland.
On five of the next seven plays, the laundry hit the field. Once the yellow silk stopped falling from the sky, Timpson QB Jon Grogan connected with Osby for 34 yards down to the six. Two runs by Jaden Johnson moved the ball to the two yard line and on third and goal, Osby plowed across the goal line. Johnson tacked on the extra point and with 7:24 left in the first quarter, the Bears led 7-0.
After the Timpson score, the teams traded punts until midway through the second quarter. Following a Grapeland punt which pinned the Bears at their own 12 yard line, Grogan managed to pick up eight yards on first down. On the very next play, Osby broke free on a 58 yard scamper and was aided by another Grapeland penalty at the end of the run.
With the ball inside the Grapeland 10, Shykeem Washington picked up three, Grogan picked up two and Johnson finished things off with a two yard plunge into the end zone. The PAT from Johnson was good and with 6:50 left to play in the half, the Bears led by a score of 14-0.
Following the kickoff, the Sandies took over at their own 31. Back-to-back incompletions put the Sandies in a third and 10 situation, but that’s when Grapeland’s offense finally showed some life. Riley Chipman caught a pass over the middle from Frauenberger and turned up field. He eluded one would be tackler as he made his way towards the sidelines.
It looked as if he might get caught, but Josh “Bear” Ackley came from out of nowhere to clean a Timpson defender’s clock to help spring Chipman for a 69 yard touchdown. The two point conversion attempt was no good, but with 6:15 remaining in the half, the Sandies had cut the lead to 14-6.
Both teams threatened as the second quarter drew to a close but neither one could push the ball across the goal line before the horn sounded to close out the first half.
After the break, the two teams played a scoreless third quarter as the game turned into a defensive slugfest. It continued along that way until the fourth quarter, when Osby broke free on a 35 yard scoring run. The extra point was no good, but the Bears had extended their lead back to 14 and led 20-6.
The Sandies were not finished, however. Frauenberger led the Sandies down the field and with time becoming a factor, the sophomore QB connected with Keriun Davis in the front part of the end zone with an 11 yard scoring strike.
The TD came with 2:58 remaining in the game but that was as close as the Sandies would come. A late touchdown from Timpson put the game out of reach and made the final score 26-12.
Following the game, Coach Mahaffey commented on his teams play. “We can’t execute that poorly and win. That’s the bottom line. If you don’t execute, you don’t win.”
Concerning the rash of penalties called on both teams, the coach indicated he thought the officials did a good job and made the right calls. “I thought it was a well-officiated game. I really do. I thought that was the best officiating we had all season.”
“You just can’t execute that poorly and expect to win,” he added. “We can blame it on a lot of areas, but ultimately, we just didn’t execute.”
For the game, Grapeland QB Rick Frauenberger was 17 of 32 for 245 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Riley Chipman hauled in four passes for 85 yards and one TD, Rodney Davis caught five for 66 yards, “Bear” Ackley had three receptions for 43 yards and Keriun Davis had 1 catch for 11 yards and a touchdown.
On the ground, Brayden Cheatham carried the ball 13 times for 38 yards while Frauenberger picked up 32 yards on eight carries.
Timpson was led by Jordan Osby with 23 carries for 218 yards and three scores. He also caught a pass for 34 yards and had one interception.
The Sandies are on the road next week as they travel to Tenaha to take on the highly ranked Tigers in a Saturday night game. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Oct. 22.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.