Sandies Defeat Bulldogs, 38-24
By Will Johnson
COLMESNEIL – The Grapeland Sandies got a wake-up call on Friday night as they survived a scare from the Colmesneil Bulldogs by a final score of 38-24
The Sandies came into the game with a 5-1 overall and 2-0 district record while the Bulldogs were sitting at 1-5 overall and 0-2 in district. Grapeland was coming off of an easy 45-22 win over the Burkeville Mustangs while Colmesneil had been crushed by the Lovelady Lions, 51-0.
All signs pointed to a Sandies’ rout before the game, but someone forgot to tell that to the Bulldogs as Colmesneil gave Grapeland all it could handle.
The Sandies opened the game with possession of the ball at the Bulldog 49. Following an illegal procedure penalty, Grapeland QB BJ Lamb connected with Keizion Ashford for 29 yards to move the ball down to the Colmesneil 25.
After a pass to Justin Bobbitt picked up a yard, a mishandled snap pushed the Sandies back to the 45. Lamb picked up 18 yards on third and 30. With the ball at the Colmesneil 27, Grapeland decided to go for it on fourth down and 12.
Lamb found Cooper Ward for what at first glance appeared to be the necessary yardage, but when the chains were brought out to measure, the measurement showed Ward had come up just short.
Colmesneil took possession at their own 16 and after back-to-back runs from Jayden Ferguson, the Bulldogs had moved out to the 27.
A fumble on the next play gave the ball back to the Sandies as Grapeland’s William McClendon made the recovery.
On first down, Lamb was in the shotgun and bobbled the snap. He quickly recovered, however, and went right up the middle for a 27-yard TD at the 7:45 mark of the first quarter. Ashford blew by the defense on a jet sweep to push the early Grapeland lead out to 8-0.
The remainder of the period and almost half of the second quarter saw the two teams exchange possession via the punt or turnover.
At about the seven minute mark, Grapeland took over at their own 14. Facing a third-and-eight from the 16, Lamb connected with Bobbitt for 31 yards. The Sandie QB then found Deco Bryant for another 17. Ashford added another 14 yards to set the Sandies’ offense up at the 25-yard line of the Bulldogs.
The next play from scrimmage was a designed crossing route. A blown coverage left Ward all by himself in the end zone. Lamb lofted a pass to Ward who secured the ball for six. Cadarian Wiley converted the try for two as Grapeland took a 16-0 lead with 5:30 left in the first half.
Now, down by 16, the Bulldogs made a change in their offense as they inserted linemen into the backfield. The strategy appeared to be working as Colmesneil began to pick up big chunks of yardage.
An incompletion and a bad snap, however, led to a punt from the Bulldogs.
The punt settled into Lamb’s hands at the 35-yard line and after making two defenders miss, he followed his blockers down the field and in to the end zone for a 65-yard TD. The extra point was no good, but with 1:33 left in the quarter, the Sandies now led 22-0.
Grapeland came close to adding another touchdown before the half, but a pick six was called back because of a defensive offsides call. As a result, the first half came to a close with the Sandies ahead 22-0.
The second half opened with the Bulldogs still in their power formation. Colmesneil started at their own 31 and on first down Evan Stewart pounded his way for 15 out to the 46. He was stopped for no again on the next play but Kobe Shird picked up three to make it fourth and seven. Ferguson was dropped for a loss by Grapeland’s Cooper Sheridan on third down and the Bulldogs were forced to punt.
The Sandies took possession on their own 25 but two plays later, a fumble gave the ball right back to the Bulldogs at the Grapeland 11.
Stewart picked up four on first down and Shird rumbled the remaining seven yards on second down for a Colmesneil TD. Stewart blasted his way into the end zone for the two point conversion and with 8:31 left in the quarter, the Bulldogs only trailed by a score of 22-8.
On the ensuing kickoff, Colmesneil attempted an onside kick. The ball went sideways when struck while the spin made the ball go backwards and out of bounds, giving the Sandies possession at the Bulldogs’ 36.
Lamb picked up six on first down and then an offsides penalty against the Bulldogs gave the Sandies a first down at the Colmesneil 25. The Lamb-to Ward connection went for 17 yards on first down and then Wiley took the ball seven yards to pay dirt. Bobbitt bulled his way across the goal line for two points and with 7:09 left in the third, Grapeland now led 30-8.
After the two teams exchanged possessions, the Bulldogs began a sustained drive that brought the third quarter to a close with Colmesneil in possession of the ball at their own 45. Shird and Stewart pounded the ball inside against the Grapeland defense and moved it down to the one where Wesley Dobbins – another lineman – slammed his way into the end zone. Shird converted the try for two and with 6:41 left in the game, the Bulldogs now trailed 30-16.
Grapeland’s next possession began on their own 42 but on third-and 13, Lamb was picked off, giving the ball back to Colmesneil.
A defensive holding call gave the Bulldogs a first-and-10 at their own 47 with just over two minutes left to play in the game. Bulldog QB Adam Smith then found Ferguson for a 39-yard reception down to the 14 yard line of Grapeland.
The duo of Shird and Stewart pushed the ball down to the two, before Dobbins burst into the end zone for the TD. Stewart added the two and with 1:20 left to play, the Bulldogs had cut the lead to 30-24.
Knowing an onside kick was coming, Head Coach Terry Ward put his “hands” team up front. The move paid off as the kick went right to Lamb, who spun out of two tackle attempts and took the ball 50 yards to the house for six. He also added the two to make the score 38-24 with 1:14 left to play in the game.
The Bulldogs were unable to do anything after that and the Sandies were able to sneak out of Colmesneil with the 38-24 win.
The Sandies return home this week for Homecoming as they take on the Lovelady Lions at Sandie Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 pm. Make sure to get there early as GHS seniors will be recognized before the game. The Homecoming King and Queen will be crowned at halftime.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.