Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

September 19, 2013

G-Men renew series with Golden Wave

BLUEFIELD, Va. — Graham last met Grundy in 2010 with the Golden Wave victorious before both teams left the Southwest District.

They’ll meet again tonight, as the G-Men (1-2) travels to Grundy (2-1). Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.

Graham enters have dropped a 27-26 decision at Richlands, which followed a 30-14 win over Tazewell. The G-Men opened the season with a 60-38 loss to Bluefield.

“I think we have gotten better each week, we just have to continue to execute what we do better and better week after week,” Graham head coach Mike Williams said. “I don’t think we have to go under any kind of major changes for success. We beat Tazewell and Richlands could have went either way.”

The visit to Grundy will be a first, not only for Williams, but for the entire squad.

“Grundy is a good team, plus it is a long, hard road trip, that is a tough place to play...,” he said. “There is a sense of familiarity once you have been somewhere, you don’t have that with going to Grundy.

“We will go there and give them a hard fight Friday night....”

Graham led Richlands at the break 20-14 last week, but failed to execute on a pair of two-point conversions, one early and one late, but Williams didn’t regret the calls despite the one-point margin at the end.

“We play the game to win the game and sometimes you execute stuff and sometimes you don’t and in that particular case we just didn’t execute,” said Williams, whose G-Men have used the two-point conversion often in his three seasons at Graham...“Our kids played hard, I think our kids hit hard, they gave good effort and when you get a one point game those type games could have gone either way.

“Unfortunately it went their way, but I was proud of how our kids played and how hard they hit. I thought they had good effort throughout the game and we fell just a little bit short.”

Graham was able to have success on offense, tallying 287 yards, including 120 on the ground by Dylan Cook and 124 and three scores through the air from Colby Hill.

“(Dylan had a real good game,” Williams said. “Dylan runs the ball hard and they had a hard time tackling him.”

However, the G-Men had a pair of turnovers, an interception on a questionable call — at least to Williams — and a muffed punt return that gave the Blue Tornado a short field to score.

“Generally when you win the turnover battle you win the game and generally when you lose the turnover battle you lose the game,” Williams said. “We lost the turnover battle, we lost two to their none and frankly if you had told me before the game that we would have two to their none, it would be hard to imagine a win.

“We didn’t win, but it would have been hard to imagine it being close losing by two turnovers like that.”

Defensively, the G-Men allowed Colton Staten to run for 171 yards, but Hunter Cook had 19 tackles, and Adrian Gray provided eight tackles, including five for loss and two sacks.

“Hunter is one of those kids, you can put him in any defensive position and he is going to lead the team in tackles,” Williams said. “Put him at safety, linebacker, defensive tackle, and he is going to find the ball carrier and get tackles, that is just what he does.”

Dylan Cook leads Graham with 306 yards on the ground, while Charlie Benfield has 190. Hill has thrown for 481 yards and seven scores, with Bryce Farris snaring 10 receptions for 178 yards and four scores. Adam Carbaugh leads the G-Men with 41 tackles, while Gray has 10 1/2 tackles for loss and 4 1/2 sacks.

Grundy has a pair of wins, with victories over Twin Valley (42-21) and Hurley (28-24) sandwiched around a 45-18 setback against Lebanon.

“At the end of the day, they are 2-1 and of course they have got a lot of history and good football players,” Williams said. “They have got 15 seniors just like we do, they are an older group of kids too, and that is usually equal to a pretty strong team...

“I would say physically they are going to be pretty tough to match up with and I think they will be just as savvy as we are, we have got a lot of older kids too.”

Grundy, which is led by second year coach Jeremy Wade, has been paced by a wide-open attack, spearheaded by quarterback Charles McCoy, who threw for 181 yards and ran for 71 more last week against the Rebels, and talented receiver Trey Smith, who had scoring passes of 85 and 58 yards.

“He is a good quarterback. He is a big kid, he is a dual threat, he runs the ball hard, he runs the ball more like a fullback-tailback than he does a quarterback,” said Williams, whose G-Men could be without lineman Jarrod Richmond, who missed the Richlands game with the flu. “He is a tough runner, he has got a strong arm, they go down field a lot, and so his receiver has so many yards...

“They have tough kids, they are going to hit and tackle and they are going to go hard.”

As with every game, Williams said it would be vital for the G-Men to limit turnovers, and do what every team must do to finish on top.

“I always feel like the teams that block the best and tackle the best wins the game and I will stand by that,” he said. “It is old-fashioned fundamentals, but blocking and tackling probably hasn’t changed in a hundred years, it is still the recipe for successful football.”

Up next is a visit from Giles and the single wing, but the G-Men haven’t thought about the Spartans just yet. The Golden Wave awaits.

“We haven’t spent anytime this week looking at (Giles),” Williams said. “It is unique, but if you start looking ahead you are going to get one to sneak up on you.”

—Contact Brian Woodson

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