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The Grant County High School football team is working to put together a complete game.
Against Bourbon County on Oct. 2, the Braves started sluggish, but turned up their defensive intensity and came away with a win.
During their district game against South Oldham on Oct. 9, the Braves continued with a slow start, falling behind 14-0 after the first half.
They rallied in the second half, but weren’t able to close the gap and eventually fell 28-7.
“We missed an opportunity,” coach Mike Davis said. “We played well in the second half of the Bourbon County game and I thought that it would carry over. We just didn’t show up in the first half. We started playing, but it was too late. We have to do a better job of what we’re coached to do, technique-wise.”
Facing fourth down and six yards to the Braves’ goal line, an offsides penalty aided the Dragons’ first scoring drive. With a shorter distance to go, South Oldham scored a touchdown on a one-yard run by their running back for a 6-0 lead after they missed the point after attempt.
The Braves looked to put points on the scoreboard on their ensuing drive, but missed a field goal attempt.
South Oldham continued their strong play by utilizing their running game to pick up three first downs on their next drive. South Oldham’s quarterback kept the ball for a touchdown, bouncing off a defender to score. The Dragons converted their two-point conversion for a 14-0 lead.
Following a Braves’ punt, South Oldham looked to blow the game open, but were unable to convert a fourth down play when Braves’ senior Tyler Benson knocked down a pass to force a turnover on downs and give the Braves the ball on their 24-yard line.
Senior Alan Workman led Grant County down the field by rushing for two first downs, but the Braves were unable to continue their offensive momentum, eventually failing to convert a fake punt on fourth down and turning the ball back over to the Dragons to end the first half.
South Oldham started the second half by scoring a touchdown to take a 21-0 lead.
Freshman Tyler Robinson broke a 48-yard run on the Braves’ next drive to move Grant County to the South Oldham 13-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs.
The rain that had been drizzling from the beginning of the game started to fall harder and gave South Oldham trouble. Junior Adam Keller and senior Nick Foster tackled the Dragons’ quarterback for a loss on first down after he lost the snap and the Braves scored their only touchdown of the game when senior Ben Mansfield recovered a fumble on the next play in the Dragons’ end zone to make it 21-7.
A holding call stalled South Oldham’s next drive, but Grant County was unable to take advantage when they fumbled the ball on their ensuing drive to end the third quarter.
The Dragons moved the ball down the field and were aided by two Grant County penalties, scoring to go ahead 28-7.
An interception in the end zone on the Braves’ next possession allowed South Oldham to run time off the clock and put the game out of reach for Grant County.
“We have the talent, but I think it’s a lack of heart and drive,” senior Trenton Willoughby said. “This was a game where it showed. We have to play the first half like we did the second half. We have three weeks left and we have to look inside and see who we are. I know that we can win. We have the talent; we should have the drive for it.”
“We have to understand that if we put a full game together, we can compete with anyone we play, but we can’t spot teams points and take advantage of opportunities,” Davis said. “We came out in the second half with great intensity, but it’s a shame that we have to challenge them at halftime to get them to play. We have to come out with the mentality that we’re going to smack the other team in the mouth, but no one on this team is giving up. We just have to execute.”
The Braves play another district game against Oldham County at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 at home.