CLARKSBURG—In a game that was only an eight-point difference at halftime, the Robert C. Byrd Eagles pulled away from Grafton in the second half of their football game Friday night, defeating the Bearcats by the score of 37-12 in Clarksburg.
The win puts the Eagles one step closer to playoff contention with a record of 4-4, while the Bearcats (1-7) continued their backwards slide, dropping their last seven contests by an average of two touchdowns per game.
The Eagles used an exceptional ground attack throughout the entire contest to run for 508 yards as a team behind sophomore standout Jeremiah King’s 250 yards on 20 carries.
RCB received the opening kickoff and after a mix of runs by King and junior John Crites, was able to cap off the drive with a three-yard touchdown run by King with 9:38 left in the 1st quarter. The extra point was successful and RCB led 7-0.
Grafton and RCB would trade possessions without scoring and on the Bearcats’ second offensive possession, sophomore quarterback Tanner Moats would find wide receiver Justin Spiker for a 20-yard touchdown pass. After a failed extra point attempt, the Bearcats would trail 7-6.
On the very next possession, RCB would use a mix of runs and passes until King would break off a 36-yard touchdown run to push the Eagles’ lead to seven, and after the successful extra point attempt, the Bearcats would trail 14-6.
RCB would move the ball deep into Grafton territory in the second quarter but a Crites’ fumble on the GHS 4-yard line would give the ball back to the Bearcats. Neither team would score for the rest of the quarter and the Bearcats would find themselves down only eight points heading into the locker room at halftime.
Grafton would receive the ball to open the second half but would turn the ball over to the Eagles, and that mishap proved to be costly as King would then explode for a 26-yard touchdown run to extend the Eagles’ lead to 15 after a successful PAT.
The Eagles would again find the scoreboard in the third, as sophomore Jaidan Willis would run the ball in from 34 yards out to push the score to a 28-6 RCB lead.
Grafton would get on the board one last time, as Moats would find senior WR Braeden Nose who made two Eagle defenders miss as he raced down the sideline and into the end zone to bring the score to 28-12 with seven seconds left in the third quarter.
The Eagles would score two more times in the fourth, courtesy of a two-yard rush by King and a 32-yard field goal by senior kicker Ryan Longerbeam, the Eagles’ first of the season.
Grafton would run out the game clock on offense with two James Hoskins’ rushes to the GHS 15-yard line to bring the final score to RCB 37, Grafton 12.
“You look out there on the field tonight and we’re playing about 17 or 18 freshmen and sophomores,” said Grafton head coach Rich Bord. “Our kids are banged up, we’ve got kids that are sick, but I’m proud of them. They just kept playing hard even though we didn’t tackle well early and that got us into a hole.”
The Bearcats will be back in action on Friday as they host Oak Glen at McKinney Field. The Golden Bears will bring an AA top-ten ranking and an unblemished record (8-0) with them as well.
“Oak Glen is a powerhouse offensively,” Bord went on to say. “They threw the ball all over the field on us last year. We’re just going to have to try heal up and get back in there and continue to get better.”
The Bearcats and the Golden Bears have one common opponent (Philip Barbour) this season.
Grafton defeated the Colts by the score of 34-9 in Week 1 while Oak Glen defeated the Colts by the score of 45-0 just a week later.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00pm at McKinney Field.