By Will Johnson
OVERTON – “We got outplayed. That’s the bottom line,” Grapeland AD/Head Coach Wayne Mahaffey said about the Sandies 40-26 loss to the Overton Mustangs last Friday.
“They played a little harder than we did and they played a little better than we did. Anytime you play a good football team and you don’t play like you’re capable of playing, you’re subject to getting beat and we got beat,” he explained.
The Sandies opened the scoring with a TD pass from Rick Frauenberger to Josh “Bear” Ackley. Ackley scored on a wheel route from 34 yards out and while the try for two was unsuccessful, the Sandies had the early lead 6-0.
After falling behind 13-6, Riley Chipman scored on a wheel route to the other side of the field to put Grapeland ahead by one as the quarter ended.
“We had the lead going into the second quarter, 14-13, but they scored right before halftime and added the two point conversion to make it 21-14 at halftime,” Coach Mahaffey said.
“It was a very winnable game,” he continued. “The momentum shifts hurt us like on the blocked extra point we picked up and would have returned for two on their first TD. We also tried an onside kick after one of our scores. No one touched it and one of our guys was standing right on the 50 and recovered it on their side of the 50. The refs said somebody touched it and gave them the ball. All those sort of things go into affecting the momentum of a team. We also converted a two point conversion on our last score that we didn’t get credit for. Riley went into the end zone and kicked the pylon as he went by, but they said he stepped out of bounds before that.”
Mahaffey added, “At that point in the game, with about six minutes left to play, if we make that two points, the score should have been 32-30 (with the two point conversion and the blocked XP run back for two). The momentum was much different at that point, than it turned out to actually be. They got the ball back and threw it downfield and scored and took a two touchdown lead on us.”
As to why the blocked extra point was disallowed, Mahaffey said, “I was told it was an inadvertent whistle. They blew the play dead, but it was an extra point. There was no reason for the official to have the whistle in his mouth. There is no time that elapses on the play. Rodney (Davis) picked it up and there was no one on their team who was going to catch him.”
“Those things happen in a football game,” he said. “I think we handled the situation okay as a team, but what it did was affect the momentum. If you return the extra point all the way for two, the touchdown they just scored – well, the momentum has just changed back in your favor. It was the same thing with the onside kick we recovered. We had just scored and the excitement was high but when those things happen and then they don’t seem to occur, it really hurts the momentum.”
“I thought we played fairly well on defense. We would stop them on first and second downs and then they would seem to hit a play. The problem was they had a 295 pound guard on one side, a 270 pound guard on the other side, a pretty big kid at center and we have 150pound linebackers. At some point, they wear you do. But, I thought they did a pretty good job of standing up to them most of the evening. We just couldn’t be consistent enough. They had good backs behind big linemen and they just ran straight at us. We had six between the tackles, but it didn’t seem to be enough,” he said.
Tink McQuirter scored for the Sandies in the third quarter and Chipman added his second TD of the game in the fourth period.
In regard to this Friday’s Homecoming game against the Timpson Bears, the coach said, “Timpson has good athletes all over the field. They have a good secondary, good linebackers and good skill kids in the backfield. Hey have two real good quarterbacks and both of them are very athletic. They also have some pretty good size on the offensive line. They are capable of being a very good football team. We’re going to have to play well if we are going to be successful. I don’t think they are better than us, but I really wasn’t sure Overton was better than us, but they did outplay us. It’s going to boil down to execution on Friday night.”
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.