Sandies Down by 13 at Halftime

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

 MAUD – Sometimes it just takes a while to loosen up. The Grapeland Sandies hit the road this past Friday to take on the Maud Cardinals in their last non-district contest of the regular season.

The three plus hour bus ride seemed to take its toll on the Sandies as they seemed sluggish in the first half and fell behind 27-14.

By the time the second half rolled around however, Grapeland seemed to have worked out all the kinks from their voyage to (almost) Arkansas and rattled off seven possessions in a row with a TD to leave Maud with a 62-42 win.

“We were pretty sluggish and not very aggressive. I think we only ran six offensive plays in the first quarter,” Grapeland AD/Head Coach Wayne Mahaffey said. “We were pretty passive on defense and just let them run the ball down our throat.”

Mahaffey said his team’s offense consisted of basically two plays in the first half.

“The first play of the game for us was when Brannen Bedre got outside to the left and went about 65 yards for our first score.  The other one, I believe, was about an 84-yard play to BJ Howard. He took a little out route and turned it up field,” he said.

“That was about the extent of our offense in the first half,” Mahaffey added. “We didn’t do very much.”

The second half was a different story.

“We went into the locker room at halftime, talked about it a little bit and then proceeded to score seven straight times. It didn’t matter what we did in the second half, it just seemed to work,” the coach said.

Asked what he said at halftime Mahaffey replied, “Not much. I went in and told them that everything we wanted to do was available. It was just a matter of execution. I told them we were going to come out in the second half throwing the ball because I felt like we just needed to catch it and keep the protection going.”

The coach said if the Sandies could do that, there was no need to panic.

Mahaffey said he told the Sandies they would get the ball first to open the second and if they went down and scored, they would be right back in the contest.

The Sandies struck quickly as the third quarter got underway. Grapeland QB Rick Frauenberger hit Tyrin Wiley on a 68 yard scoring reception to cut the lead to 27-21.

“We came back and ran the ball effectively in the second half. We threw the ball well. It was one of those things where all of a sudden they looked fatigued and couldn’t stop us. We got rolling and when you get to rolling with momentum late in the ballgame, it can carry you,” Mahaffey said.

As the game progressed, Mahaffey said things began to break right for the Sandies.

“We stopped them on downs a couple of times, got an interception and then recovered an on-sides kick that wasn’t supposed to be on-sides. He missed it, but it rolled the perfect amount of yardage and it caught everyone by surprise. It was supposed to be a squib kick. WE got back-to-back scores in two or three plays. We scored three times in the early in the third quarter and the first thing you know we went from being down by two touchdowns to being up by one. From there, it just snowballed and got bigger and better,” he said.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.