Grapeland Defeats Cayuga 28-8

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – The Grapeland Sandies are gaining a reputation for throwing the ball. So what happens when teams adjust their defense to try and stop the Grapeland passing attack? Well, in Friday night’s 28-8 win over the Cayuga Wildcats, the Sandies shifted to the run and the rushing attack proved just as lethal as the team’s aerial assault.

Grapeland running back Josh “Bear” Ackley led the way for the Sandies as he picked up 156 yards on the ground, with two TDs, on 15 carries for nearly an 11 yard average per carry.

The Sandies started things off with a swing pass to Keizion Ashford who turned it upfield and took it 30 yards to the house midway through the first quarter.

The extra point was no good but the Sandies had drawn first blood and led by a score of 6-0.

The lead didn’t last very long as the Wildcats drove the length of the field to tie things up on a Ryder Sparkman 1-yd TD plunge.

Grapeland struck back to retake the lead in the second quarter. The Sandies moved across their own 40 and on second down, Grapeland QB Rick Frauenberger handed off to Ackley who broke through the line of scrimmage and veered to the Cayuga sideline.

Ackley got to the edge and with a great downfield block from Tyrin Wiley, the senior RB scampered 58 yards to pay-dirt to make the score 12-8.

With time winding down in the first half, the Sandies struck again. This time it was BJ Lamb. Lamb caught a WR screen pass from Frauenberger at his own 15, made the first guy miss, juked another Cayuga player at the 24 and went 85 yards for the score to put Grapeland up by 12, after the two-point conversion.

The Sandies took the 20-8 lead into the locker room and came out in the second half and silenced the Wildcat fans as they pitched a shutout the remainder of the game.

Ackley added a fourth quarter score and two point conversion as Grapeland coasted to the 28-8 win.

Grapeland AD/Head Coach Wayne Mahaffey said he was pleased with the way the team played, defensively.

“Overall, I think we played really well. I didn’t think we played as well as we could in the first half. We weren’t as physical as we could be. When we came out in the second half, I thought we dominated. The kids took control and Cayuga couldn’t move the ball. They didn’t get many first downs and I thought our defense played really well again. That’s something we’re glad to see and something we will have to have going forward,” Mahaffey said.

The coach also commented on the play of the offensive line.

“The offensive line did a good job of blocking,” he said. “They opened some holes in their (Cayuga’s) defensive front. They were trying to take away our passing game so it reduced the amount of players inside and we were able to take advantage of it.”

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