CLARKSBURG—The Grafton High School football team was on the road again on Friday night, but this time it was only a forty-minute drive to play the Mountaineers of Liberty Harrison. The Bearcats, who suffered a tough lost to Oak Glen last Friday, regrouped as they bounced back this week to beat Liberty, 39-7.
The Cats started with the ball at the forty-yard line on a good return by senior Noah Hodges. The Bearcat offense took control of the Liberty’s defense on the first drive, but before they could reach the red zone. The Mountaineer defense picked off a Bearcat pass and returned it for a touchdown. This would be the only score in the first quarter as the Cats found themselves down 7 to 0.
Grafton got on the board at the start of the second quarter with a one-yard run for a touchdown by Caleb Bish.
On the next Mountaineer possession sophomore Blake Moore intercepted a Liberty pass which can on a trick play by the Mountaineers. Moore didn’t fall for Liberty’s trick play which would set the Bearcats up for good field position. On the very next play Devin Vanscoy broke out a thirty-seven-yard touchdown run to help the Bearcats take the lead.
On the next Bearcat possession Bish scored his second touchdown of the evening. He ran threw the middle of Liberty’s defense for 17 yards to score the touchdown.
Vanscoy would then set the Cats up again as he recovered a fumble which put the Bearcats at the 37-yard line. Hodges scored a few plays later on a pitch by Wellman to help extend the Bearcats lead to end the half, 26-7.
In fact, the Bearcats scored 26 points on four straight series in the second quarter.
The Bearcats opened the second half with a defensive stop on fourth down to help the offense start on Liberty’s side of the field. Bish would tip toe into the endzone for his third touchdown on the night to start the third quarter. On the next Mountaineer offensive series Moore would record his second interception of the night when he picked off the Liberty quarterback. The Cats would be leading the Mountaineers 32 to 7 at end the third quarter.
The interceptions just keep coming for GHS into the 4th quarter as Braden Nose would pick off Liberty’s quarterback to begin the final quarter and would return it to the 13-yard line. The Cats would score on the next play on a fumble recovery by Hodges as Bish fumbled the ball as he was rushing the ball into the endzone. This would be the final touchdown for the Bearcats.
Bish was once again the leading rusher for GHS as he had 28 carries for 134 yards and three touchdowns. The remaining rushing yards were credited to Vanscoy (4-58), Garrett Wellman (9-54), Hodges (7-61), Eli Shumaker (2-8), Austin Timmons (1-(-3)), Tanner Moats (1-9) and Shane Moran (7-23).
Wellman was 2 of 6 for 26 yards and two interceptions in the passing attack for GHS. Hunter Simmons led the receivers with one catch for 20 yards while teammate Hodges had the other GHS catch for 6 yards.
The defensive standout for GHS against Liberty was Bobby Thorn as he led the Cats with four solo tackles and recorded one for a four yard loss. The Cats also had two fumble recoveries against the Mountaineers as Hodges and Vanscoy were credited.
“We got after each other a little bit more in practice this past week,” said head coach Rich Bord. “We as a coaching staff were a lot more demanding as we had to correct a bunch of mistakes from last week. We made some changes defensively this week and it seemed to be the right ones as we did not give up a first down during the second half. On offense we hit them with a dose of Bish, then we hit them with Hodges and Vanscoy and then we can back and hit them with Wellman all from different looks. At times the defense just spun in circles as they did not know who had the ball,” he added.
The Bearcats are “open” this week and will use their two weeks to prepare for the Lincoln Cougars on October 5th. The Homecoming game will kick off at 7:00 p.m.