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Despite being outgained by Churchland 337-192, Grafton was able to control the clock and get key scores from defense and special teams to pull out a 27-12 home win Friday.
Grafton kicker Reed King, arguably the best kicker in the district, proved his significance Friday. King, who finished 2-of-3 on field goal attempts, put Grafton on the board with 7:21 left in the first quarter on a 22-yard field goal.
The Clippers were reliant on their run game to wear the Churchland defense down. Churchland began to show signs of fatigue late in the first quarter, as Grafton ran the ball 12 consecutive times to end the quarter.
During the same drive, on the first play of the second quarter, Grafton turned to the ground game once again and Trevaun Walker punched the ball into the end zone from five yards out to put Grafton up 10-0.
Churchland found the end zone for the first time in the second quarter after a spectacular 33-yard diving reception from Troy Mitchell. The long third-down pass was followed by a 37-yard touchdown scamper by Jamil Edwards, though the extra point was missed by the Truckers.
The Truckers got the ball back deep in their own territory with less than 10 seconds on the clock in the first half. Instead of heading into the half down four, Churchland called a screen pass that was picked off by Grafton's Ray Gonzalez and returned 19 yards for a touchdown with three seconds on the clock.
With a 17-6 advantage coming out of the break, Grafton put together a strong drive to start the second half.
The Clippers ran the ball 10 times before King booted a 43-yard field goal through the uprights to give Grafton a 20-6 lead.
Perhaps the most important play of the game came during Grafton's next defensive series. A long Churchland drive found the Truckers at the Grafton 1-yard line.
The Truckers ran the ball four consecutive times, unable to cross the goal line and turning the ball over on downs with nothing to show for the drive.
"At that moment of the game it was 20-6. If we don't stop them there, the momentum swings. With a team like that, you don't want them to have momentum," Grafton Coach Matt McLeod said about the goal-line stand.
In need of a stop on defense, Churchland forced a fumble on Grafton's following possession and took over around midfield. In what turned out to be the theme of the night for Churchland, Grafton again picked off a pass and took it to the house for a touchdown with 8:28 left in the fourth quarter.
The Truckers (1-1) scored a touchdown with 4:26 left in the fourth quarter, but the game was too far out of reach for a comeback. Minutes later, the Clippers kneeled the clock out and secured the victory.
"It was a huge win for us," McLeod said. "I'm proud of the kids for busting their butts. They came out fired up and ready to show what Grafton is about this season. That's a good football team over there we beat."
Grafton (1-0) will continue its season on the road against Poquoson at 7 p.m. Sept. 11.
Churchland: 0 6 0 6 – 12
Grafton: 3 14 3 7 – 27
G: R. King 22 FG, 3-0
G: Walker 5 run (R. King kick), 10-0
C: Edwards 37 run (kick failed), 10-6
G: Gonzalez 19 interception return (R. King kick), 17-6
G: R. King 43 FG, 20-6
G: Daugherty 58 interception return (R. King kick), 27-6
C: Gause 15 pass from Williams (pass failed), 27-12
First Downs: 9; 20
Rushes-yards: 48-192; 21-93
Passing yards: 0; 244
Comp-att-int: 0-2-0; 18-37-3
Fumbles-lost: 1-1; 2-1
Grafton: Trevaun Walker (20 car, 128 yards, TD), Aaron Daugherty (INT, TD), Ray Gonzalez (INT, TD)
Churchland: Garry Williams (18-37, 244 yards, TD, 3 INTs)
James Monroe Scores Late to Edge York
A late touchdown by James Monroe squandered York's hopes of taking Friday's regular-season opener to overtime, with the Falcons falling on the road 16-9.
York got on the board first early in the first quarter thanks to a Ramsey Hayyat 45-yard touchdown pass to Luke Gilbert to put the Falcons up 6-0.
James Monroe countered with a big passing play of its own later in the first quarter. Yellow Jackets quarterback Matt Felton sent a 56-yard bomb to Darius Leakcock for the go-ahead touchdown. A connected extra point put James Monroe on top 7-6.
Neither team found the end zone during the second quarter and the game went into halftime with James Monroe leading 7-6.
In the third quarter, York found itself backed up on its own goal line. James Monroe sent pressure up the middle and stuffed York behind the line of scrimmage for a safety to extend the Yellow Jackets' lead to 9-6.
York kicker Logan Weis tied the game up in the fourth quarter after the Falcons got into the red zone, but were unable to punch the ball past the goal line. Weis' 25-yard field goal tied the game at 9-9.
With less than a minute left in the fourth quarter, James Monroe running back Dejon Weldon ran the ball into the end zone from five yards out for the game-winning score.
Devin Campbell had a big game for York, recording an interception in the end zone and hauling in a drive-extending 35-yard catch in the fourth quarter.
Despite the loss, York Coach Doug Periera said he was pleased with his team's performance.
"It was an extremely hard-fought game," he said. "Both teams played very well."
The Falcons (0-1) will hit the road to take on New Kent at 7 p.m. Sept. 11.
Individual statistics were not reported for this game.
York: 6 0 0 3 — 9
James Monroe: 7 0 2 7 — 16
Y: Gilbert 45 pass from Hayyat (kick missed), 6-0
J: Leacock 56 pass from Felton (kick good), 7-6
J: safety, 9-6
Y: Weis FG 25, 9-9
J: Weldon 5 run (kick good), 16-9
Jamestown Loses to Gloucester
The Jamestown football team suffered a 51-20 defeat on the road against Gloucester on Friday night.
Jamestown, which went winless in 2014, played a competitive first half of football, trailing Gloucester 17-13 heading into the break.
The second half was owned by Gloucester, however, who outscored the Eagles 34-7 over the final 24 minutes of the game.
Jamestown's 20 points in one game comes after last year's 10-game season in which they scored a total of 46 points.
Jamestown (0-1) will continue its season on the road against Tabb at 7 p.m. Sept. 11.
Individual statistics were not reported for this game.
Gloucester 51, Jamestown 20