The Jackets kept the excitement up this week with plenty of scoring but they couldn’t stop the Dragon offense and fell to York 48-34. Grundy fell to 1-7 overall and 1-3 in Region 4, Class 3A.
“Turnovers hurt us and contain on defense killed us. We came out in the second half and 14 points went away in a minute. It wasn’t anything different that they did, it just happened and our kids never really recovered. I think the 14 points rattled us pretty good.
“You know Coach Pickett would say you can learn to win and you can learn to lose and you can transition back and forth. You’ve got to take that step. It’s right there. Put them away. Finish them off but we just can’t do it. We find a way to let people get back in ball games.
“The turnovers are on us coaches. I’ve preached protect the ball all week and dang if it didn’t still hit the ground,” said Coach Casey Tate.
Grundy got on the board first with a James McDaniel 12 yard run at the 8:00 mark of the first quarter and led 6-0. York responded within less than two minutes and kicked an extra point to take a 7-6 lead. McDaniel put Grundy back in front at 10:55 of the second quarter on a 52 yard run. Grundy again failed to convert the extra point but led 12-7. Again York responded and again they kicked the PAT to take a 14-12 lead.
The Jackets would score twice more before half to take a lead to the break. Kevin Castro scored both TDs on 35 and 8 yard runs. He ran in one of the 2 point conversions in and Grundy led 26-14 at the half.
The Dragons would make two early scores in the third quarter and took a 34-26 lead. At the 6:03 mark of the quarter Ethan Nunley would hit James McDaniel for a 25 yard touchdown pass. The two point conversion would tie the contest at 34-34. That would be the last Yellow Jackets’ score and York would score twice in the fourth quarter to take the 48-34 win.
Grundy had a key injury early in the game when Cody Crisp went down and Coach Tate believed that had a big impact on his team.
“Brandonle Bennett is a freshman with a bright future in Grundy County football. He’s a strong, tough kid that works hard. Cody Crisp is a senior and is the cornerstone of our offense and defense. With Cody going down with an injury and Brandonle being thrown into the fire it hurts. They took advantage of it.
You’re trying to piece it together with freshmen kids and they’re going to make mistakes. It’s nothing against him. I thought he did way better than I could have as a freshman. Eventually they’re going to find the 14 year old in there and take advantage of it. On defense we’ve got to stop jet sweep and that just it,” said the coach.
On offense James McDaniel led the way with 17 rushes for 192 yards and 2 TDs, and caught a pass for 25 yards and a TD. Ethan Nunley ran the ball 18 times for 106 yards and completed 3 of 6 passes for 81 yards and a TD. Kevin Castro had 14 rushes for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns. Travis Cunningham caught 2 passes for 56 yards.
Dewayne Grooms led the defense with 7 tackles and a tackle for a loss. Josh Hoback and Corbin Lusk followed with 4 tackles each. Kevin Castro made 3 stops and intercepted a pass. Travis Cunningham also had 3 tackles. Matt Burrows had 2 tackles, stripped a fumble loose and made a big return with that fumble. Joelton Dees, Tray Fults and James McDaniel had 2 tackles each. Alex Meeks had one tackle.
The Jackets host Sequatchie County for their final home game of the season Friday. The Indians are 6-2 on the season and 3-1 in the district. They opened with five straight wins defeating South Pittsburg, Whitwell, Smith County, York Institute and Bledsoe County. They lost their next two against DeKalb and Warren County. Last week they downed Cannon County.
This group of Yellow Jackets have battled more adversity this season than any in recent memory. They deserve a large crowd to come out and support them in their final home game of the season. This team deserves for you to…Get out to the game!