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Deacons Play Spoilers on Friday Night


When a game ends with a team scoring 49 points while their opponent notches 14 in the same span, it's easy to call it a blow out. Simple conclusions are so often misleading though.

For the first 30 minutes of the game it was a 50/50 tilt. The first quarter ticked off without a point being scored and only a handful of first downs in total. Then the frozen scoreboard started to thaw. Shanley went on an extended drive to close the quarter and found the end zone on the first play of the second quarter. #6 Matt Burd took the ball in from a few yards out for the first points of the game.

That started a streak of four straight possessions in which the team on offense had a touchdown. Grafton's first score came on a pass to #11 Jason Garza mid way through the quarter. One minute and nine seconds of game time after that came a 46 yard touchdown run by #2 Haley Bucholz.

The Spoilers went on a much more methodical drive with their next possession. Mixing run and pass they worked their way down the field and again found the end zone by #23 Marcus Niemann. Whether it was as the result of a shakey kicker or because they wanted to score as many points as fast as possible, Grafton opted to go for two points after each of their scores. The first attempt was successful while the second was not. Which left the first half knotted at 14.

When the third frame started ticking, Shanley continued their offensive output with a six play touchdown drive, entirely via the ground game. On the ensueing kickoff the ball rolled out of bounds, so Grafton started at the 35 but went nowhere with the nice field position, eventually turning the ball over on downs. That would be the rhythm of the remainder of the game. Shanley getting basically whatever they wanted on offense, while their defense did enough to hold Grafton scoreless in the game.

This one was every bit a tale of two halves. It's possible that Shanley will prove over the remainder of the season to be as good as they showed to be in the second half.

It's a similar story with Grafton, will they prove to be able to play with anybody or will they get run through and thrown over as the season progresses?

For each team, only time will tell the answers to those questions.

Scoring Summaries

  • Touchdown by #6 - Matt Burd (Shanley)

  • Touchdown by #11 - Jason Garza (Grafton)

  • Touchdown by #2 - Haley Bucholz (Shanley)

  • Touchdown by #23 - Marcus Niemann (Grafton)

  • Touchdown by #25 - Josh Johnson (Shanley)

  • Touchdown by #25 - Josh Johnson (Shanley)

  • Touchdown by #6 - Matt Burd (Shanley)

  • Touchdown by #2 - Haley Bucholz (Shanley)

  • Touchdown by #81 - Jake Kava (Shanley)

Player of the Game

In a game with so many scores by the same people, identifying one particular player as the POG is not a small feat. Kava had the most impressive touchdown, snatching it from the hands of a would be interceptor. Each of the preceding scores had impressive elements of their own as well. Since six of the Deacons seven touchdowns were by three players I'll leave it to the yardage as the determining factor for it.

As far as I can tell, Bucholz finished the game with the most statistics and did them in grand fashion so while Johnson and Burd both played well on Friday night, Haley Bucholz is the choice for POG.

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