ELKINS- The playoff hopeful Bearcats of Grafton High School were on the road for the sixth and final time for the 2018 season last Friday night. The Bearcats were up against the home standing Elkins Tigers on a muddy Senior Night. This matchup was all Tigers in the cold and on grass as they went on to upset the Bearcats 27-7.
Elkins was first to put points on the board with a four-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter with 5:39 left on the clock.
GHS had an opportunity to score near the end of the first quarter when Senior John Luke Massie recovered a fumble from a bad snap by Elkins and put Grafton in great field position with 47 seconds left in the first quarter. Grafton’s offense couldn’t capitalize off the turnover. At the end of the first quarter, the score remained 7-0.
Elkins would score again in the second quarter from a 15-yard rushing touchdown to make the score 14-0 with 5:59 left in the first half. This touchdown came from a muff snap by Grafton’s punting unit. At the end of the first half, Grafton was trailing Elkins 14-0. This was the first time Grafton was held scoreless in the first half this season.
The Bearcats would answer the call early in the second half with a 45- yard touchdown on fourth and one from Senior Caleb Bish. The score was now 14-7 Elkins with 4:54 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers would answer the bell with a touchdown of their own with 2:17 left in the quarter. They scored on a 24-yard touchdown rush making the score 20-7 because of a miss extra point. After three quarters of action, the score of this game was 20-7.
In the final quarter, Elkins would score one more time on a one-yard touchdown run making the score 27-7 which would be final score in the contest.
Caleb Bish was the top rusher for GHS as he recorded 65 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown. The remaining rushing yards came from Noah Hodges (2-7), Garrett Wellman (7-30), Trevor Cayton (1-1) and Joey Dingledein (1-(-16)).
Wellman was 6 of 19 in the air for the Cats for a total of 37 yards.
Hodges was the top target for Wellman on the day as he caught three passes for 21 yards. The remaining yards through the air for Wellman connected with Justin Whitehair (1-5) and Hunter Simmons (2-11).
Blake Moore led the Bearcat defense with 12 tackles against the Tigers. The remaining tackles were credited to Nick Starcher (5), Kasey Knotts (7), Trevor Cayton (8), Ian Baker (11), Braeden Nose (8), Jake Montgomery (2), John Luke Massie (6), Devin Vanscoy (4), Noah Hodges (2), Caleb Bish (3), Austin Timmons, Gabe Wolverton and Andrew Irvine (4).
“It took us a whole half to wake up and start handling this upfront,” said veteran head coach Rich Bord. “After Caleb (Bish) scored on the long run, they (Elkins) came right back with a long kick-off return and it seemed that took the air right out of us. After that we did not play well on either side of the football,” Bord added.
The Bearcats will get a chance to correct that as they play their last football game for the regular season this Friday night as they will host North Marion Huskies (4-5) for Senior Night. Come out to support the Bearcats and watch the senior football players play their final game on McKinney Field. Game set to kick off at 7:00 p.m. Senior Night will begin before the game for all fall sports.