GRAFTON—The cool crisp air of an early November night would hold the final regular season game of 2021, as the Grafton Bearcats would faceoff against the Minutemen of Lewis County High School at McKinney Field this past Friday.
The Minutemen would be the first with the ball as the game got underway and made a drive down the field but would unfortunately be stuffed by the Grafton defense forcing Lewis County to punt.
On the next possession, Grafton would put together an impressive opening drive with some outside runs and a couple drop passes to the receivers that ended with Aaron Barker getting loose on the 25yd line and scoring the Bearcats first TD to bring the score to 7-0 with 10:31 left to play in the first quarter.
The kickoff back to the Minutemen would be uneventful as were the next couple of possessions as it seemed the theme for the night would be “defense”.
All of that would change with 5:01 left to play in the first quarter. The Minutemen would strike back as star running back Clayton Turner would power through the Grafton line for a quick Lewis County touchdown and a failed extra point attempt would have the score Grafton 7 and Lewis County 6.
The Minutemen TD did little to faze the Bearcats as their next possession would see a kickoff return from Justin Spiker to mid-field, Tanner Moats getting a chance to run as the takes it to the Lewis County 25, Moats then throws a rocket to Kayden Delaney who takes it to the goal line and then Moats easily found Spiker in the End Zone for an easy quick Grafton TD with 1:17 left to play in the first. The subsequent extra point would no good and the score would be GHS 13, LC 6.
The next Grafton kickoff to the minutemen would result in a long injury timeout as one of Grafton’s own, Cyrus Mayle would injure his knee and would have to be escorted off the field with county EMS.
The Bearcats would let their defense do the talking for the rest of the game as each play was swarmed by the Grafton defenders and Lewis County had a hard time gaining any offense for the remainder of the game.
The second half would begin with a Justin Spiker interception that turned into an Aaron Barker 30 yd TD run and a successful two-point conversion to bring the score to 21-6 with 10:23 left to play in the third quarter.
Another dismal offensive showing from Lewis County would see the Bearcats receiving the punt.
The Bearcats take over on their own 45 yd line. Tanner Moats throws a beauty to Isaac Lough for another Grafton TD, 28-6 with 10:23 left.
The kickoff and next Lewis County possession would be a respectable drive by the Minutemen deep into Grafton territory but would ultimately result in a turnover on downs and the Bearcats taking over on their own 12 yd line.
The drive by the Bearcats was almost all the Kayden Delaney show as he made 5 receptions and broke away down to the Lewis County 23 yard line as Aaron Barker gets outside to the flats and shuffles the corner to take it to the goal with 5:30 left in the third quarter and the score now 35-6.
The rest of the game would see more of the same as Grafton was almost able to score at will with the Lewis County Minutemen doing all they could to gain some offense, but with another Aaron Barker TD and Jared Blackhurst also pounding one home the game would end with a whimper on a defeated Lewis County drive and the final cannon and fireworks would proudly proclaim a Bearcats victory as the final score would be 48-6.
The win gives the Bearcats an eleven seed playoff birth and will be facing the six seed North Marion this Friday night at 7:30 p.m., as they travel to take on the Husky’s in the playoff.
The staff at the Mountain Statesman would like to congratulate all the players, coaches, and fans on a very successful season this year as we look forward to this week’s playoff game.
PLEASE NOTE:Per the WVSSAC tickets for the playoff matchup between Grafton and North Marion must be purchased in advance online.
Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased by visting, https://gofan.co/app/school/WVSSAC.