Eagles soar over Bearcats in a nail-biting Homecoming game


GRAFTON—The Robert C. Byrd Eagles made a visit to Grafton to take on the Bearcats under the lights of McKinney Field, on Friday.
The Bearcats took possession of the football to start the game, with a lucky tip by wide receiver Justin Spiker that set up the Bearcats with good field position for a blistering 40-yard touchdown pass from QB Blake Moore to WR Justin Spiker to give Grafton the early lead 7-0, with the extra point successful and 6:46 left to play in the first quarter.
It was then the RCB Eagles turn to show their merit. Starting with a good Bearcat punt, the Eagles took over on their own 33, but failed to move the ball during their possession. The Eagles produce a short punt leaving the Bearcats with good field position.
RB James Hoskins put an exclamation point on the first play with a breakaway 20-yard run. The next play would find the Bearcats facing a turnover with an interception by Eagles DB Makia Payne, which landed the Eagles on their own 46. With a precision strike the Eagles handoff to RB John Crites as he escaped to the outside and jetted down the sideline for 52 yards for a Eagles touchdown, with the extra point good, both teams entered the second quarter all tied up 7-7.
Grafton took over at the beginning of the second quarter, unable to move the ball. With a thunderous punt, the Eagles found themselves deep in Bearcat territory. The Eagles struck hard and fast with QB Xavier Lopez connecting with RB Jermiah King for an 83-yard touchdown pass.
The Eagles lead the Bearcats 14-7 with 5:56 left before halftime. The Bearcats drove down to the red zone with an opportunity to score, but the stellar defense of the Eagles trapped the Bearcats receiver for a interception running all the way back downfield for another Eagles TD.
Before much celebration could take place, the touchdown was recalled due to a personal foul on the Eagles, and the Bearcats got another chance to score which came up inches short just as the halftime whistle sounded.
The Grafton Bearcats started the third quarter with a kickoff to the RCB Eagles, who took over on their own 34-yard line.
The Eagles aired it out to WR Gage Harman, who took the pigskin down into the red zone, before RB Jeremiah King punching it in from the five for another Eagles touchdown, finding the Bearcats down 21-7.
The remainder of the third quarter was uneventful for both the Bearcats and Eagles, as both teams struggled to move the ball.
The start of the fourth quarter found the Bearcats still down 21-7 with 4:27 left in league play.
With just 1:59 left to play, Bearcats QB Blake Moore fired a laser pass to WR Justin Spiker for a 40-yard gain. The next play followed with a handoff to James Hoskins who was able to find the endzone for the Cats with 1:05 left on the clock.
An onside kick failed to return the ball to the Bearcats, and the Eagles took possession on 49-yard line. After an Eagles fumbled with 59 seconds left, the Cats were left with a long-shot chance of at least tying the game.
An impressive air raid launched by the Bearcats lead them down to scoring position with seven seconds left to play. All hopes were put on one final hail Mary pass, that was unfortunately intercepted by the Eagles. With that snag, the Eagles went on to clinch the win, with a final score RCB Eagles 21 and the Grafton Bearcats 14.

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