Sandies Win Season Opener, 31-16

Game Called in 2nd Quarter Due to Storms

By Will Johnson                                                                                                                                                               Messenger Reporter

KOUNTZE – The Grapeland Sandies won their season opener against the Kountze Lions, 31-16, despite the game being called with 5:30 left in the second quarter due to inclement weather.

Riley Chipman scored two touchdowns for the Sandies as the Class 2A DII Grapeland squad debuted a high powered offense against the Class 3A DI Lions.

The Sandies offense was, quite frankly, unstoppable. Every time Grapeland touched the ball they scored. Chipman got the Sandies offense on the scoreboard first as he found the end zone from 21 yards out on the game’s first possession. The extra point by Dustin Ackley was good and just like that, Grapeland led by a score of 7-0.

The Lions answered right back as they matriculated drove down the field, scored a TD and converted the try for two. The two point conversion gave Kountze their only lead of the game at 8-7.

The Sandies responded with a lengthy drive of their own and this time, Chipman scored from two yards out. He also converted the try for two and as the first quarter came to an end, the Sandies were back up 15-7.

As the second period got underway, the Sandies “D” forced a punt after a three and out from Kountze. Once again, Grapeland moved downfield with a quickness. Kamari Smith had the honors this time as he plowed through the middle of the line on a dive play to make the score 21-0. On the try for two, Frauenberger found Rodney Davis to make the score 23-8.

“They came back down and scored on about a 30 yard touchdown pass (and converted the try for two). They kicked off to us and the next play, we hit Rodney (Davis) for a 60 yard touchdown pass. The two point conversion was run in by Riley (Chipman),” Grapeland AD/Head Coach Wayne Mahaffey said.

“We did just about what we wanted to on offense. Rick (Frauenberger) was eight for 12 with 171 yards, one TD and one 2-point conversion. We also ran the ball for 135 yards so, we had a total of 306 yards in a quarter and a half. I think if we had played a full game, it would have been a really big night. Basically, they couldn’t stop us,” Coach Mahaffey said.

The offensive line was a big part of the Sandies’ success, the coach explained. “We pass protect extremely well. They hurried us a couple of times, but never got a sack. Rick had to make a couple of side steps once or twice, but nothing extreme. The line did a great job on protecting the quarterback and we had some pretty good running lanes, too. Overall, I think the line played well.”

On the defensive side of the ball, Mahaffey said, “We gave up 66 yards in passing. Probably 55 of those yards were on two plays where we didn’t cover. There was a blown coverage on one and just didn’t pick up the receiver on the other one. We also gave up about 53 yards in rushing.”

“From that standpoint,” he continued, “I think we did a pretty good job. They couldn’t run the ball inside on us. They had some speed and got to the edge a couple of times and picked up some yardage, but not a whole lot.”

Offensive standouts for Grapeland included Chipman, Davis and Frauenberger as well as the entire offensive line. Defensively, Mahaffey said Chipman and Davis played well from their safety positions while Kamari Smith and Dustin Ackley helped shut down the interior from their inside linebacker positions.

Mahaffey added, “I think they’re starting to believe they can be pretty good. We have two more weeks to help us discover that. If we can play at a high level and maybe come out with a win or two, I think our confidence level will be pretty high at that point.”

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

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