GRAFTON—The Grafton High School Bearcat football team (5-4) played their final contest of the 2018 season last Friday night, at McKinney Field.
On a rainy Senior Night, the Bearcats played host to the North Marion Huskies (5-5).
The Cats trailed 13—7 at the half, but allowed the Huskies to score 22 in the third quarter. The Cats had no answer in the second half, and the Huskies cruised to a 35—13 win over the Bearcats.
North Marion put the first score on the board as they scored from 12 yards out, to put them up 6—0, as the PAT failed. The Huskies would score again in the second quarter on a long rushing touchdown to extend the lead to 13—0.
The Bearcats would put their best drive together a series later, as they drove the field with Caleb Bish scoring from four yards out. Gabe Wolverton added the extra point to pull the Bearcats back within six points.
At the half, the Bearcats found themselves down 13—7.
This is where the game fell apart for the Cats, as the Huskies put up 22 unanswered points in the third quarter.
The Bearcats would get into the end zone one more time during the fourth quarter, when Blake Moore scored from one yard out. Joey Dingledein attempted the extra point for GHS, but his attempt was blocked by a speedy Husky defender.
“I think there were times in the second half that we just shot ourselves in the foot,” said veteran coach Rich Bord. “In the first half, we stopped some potential scores with some penalties, and in the second half, we made some mistakes, especially on special teams, that basically took us out of the game,” he added.
Senior Caleb Bish was the leading rusher for GHS recording 13 carries for 39 yards and a touchdown.
The remaining rushing yards came from Noah Hodges (2-22), Garrett Wellman (9-29), Austin Timmons (5-21), Blake Moore (3-20), Trevor Cayton (7-25) and Luke Nibert (1-10).
Garrett Wellman led the passing game for GHS as he was 8 of 28 for 131 yards, with one interception.
Blake Moore was 0 of 2 for 0 yards passing for GHS.
The top receiver for Grafton was Hunter Simmons who caught 2 passes for 54 yards.
The remaining passing yardage came from Justin Whitehair (1-5), Noah Hodges (2-33), Blake Moore (2-20) and Braeden Nose (1-18).
Senior Trevor Cayton led the Bearcats with 12 tackles in the game, followed by freshman Andrew Irvine with seven.
The remaining tackles for GHS came from Blake Moore (4), John Luke Massie (3), Hodges (6), Nick Starcher (2), Bish (4), Simmons (2), Nose (6), Devin Vanscoy (5), Wolverton, Blain Moore, Kasey Knotts (3), Ian Baker, Wellman (5) and Jonathan Ross.
“I am extremely proud of these kids,” said Bord. “I told them in the locker room that I would not trade them for the world.”
“These kids brought back the roar in Grafton football that we have not seen in quite awhile. These seniors gave us something to build on for next season. We had 12 special seniors this season and they will be missed. They played their hearts out this season,” he added.
The Bearcats needed a win in this contest to advance into the WV AA playoffs.
With the loss, the Cats did not get in again this season, and will end their 2018 season with a 5 and 4 record.