Friday, October 13, 2017

Postgame Blog: Grafton Controls Own Destiny After Defeating Uxbridge

 By Connor Evans (@RonnocEvans)

GRAFTON - Grafton High School was buzzing with fans on Senior Night for the Indians. The visiting Uxbridge Spartans looked to ruin the party, but would ultimately fall to a revitalized Grafton offense, 33-13.

Let's break down all the action.

Q1: Grafton would strike first with Senior Caden Barber running the ball in for a 3-yd TD. On the ensuing Uxbridge drive, the Spartans scored in 20 seconds. First, Thomas Sawyer would haul in a monster grab courtesy of QB Ryley Rosborough, then Matthew Johnston would fight his way up the middle for a touchdown. The quarter would end 7-7.

Q2: Jackson Sonnett opened the quarter with an Indians touchdown (PAT No Good) to put Grafton up 13-7. A fumble by Uxbridge on the ensuing drive would result in a Grafton touchdown from Senior Connor Driscoll. QB Matt Holbrook would hit Ryan Jack in the end zone for a successful 2-pt conversion. The half would end 21-7 in favor of the Indians.

The quarter would remain scoreless, though we'd see a few nice defensive plays on both sides of the ball to keep the excitement up. A surprise onside-kick attempt from Uxbridge to open the half was certainly a gutsy call (and it nearly worked).

Q4: The Indians would score first in the fourth, as Driscoll found his way to the end zone for a second time in the evening. A failed PAT set us at a score of 27-7. The Spartans weren't done yet though as Benjamin Landry got away from his defender and caught a nice pass from Rosborough, setting up a second Johnston touchdown.

The Indians counterattack proved too much though, as Grafton would recover an onside kick attempt and Ethan Farrah would score a touchdown later in the drive. A failed 2-pt conversion would provide us with our final score, cemented by Grafton's Ryan Jack, who had the game-clinching interception.

Takeaway for Uxbridge

You've got to hold on to the football. 5 fumbles on the evening, 3 of which were recovered by Grafton. That being said, a lot of credit to this defense. They held a team to 33 while they themselves had a -3 turnover differential. That's not exactly easy to do.

This roster's got talent on both sides of the ball, but tonight was just not their night. The Spartans couldn't seem to get in rhythm against an inspired Grafton team. The athleticism of the Uxbridge roster leads me to believe they will bounce back from this one. Coach McMahon of Grafton was highly complementary of the team, saying how strong their coaching was and what a high-talent roster the Spartans have. I have no doubt we will see a resurgence with this Uxbridge team.

Takeaway for Grafton

A great team win for the Indians. After a disappointing offensive performance last week, only scoring 7 points against Tantasqua, it was nice to see Offensive Coordinator Binkowski's diversified play calls tonight, as a lot of different players got touches. Grafton's offensive line did a particularly excellent job with the reemergence of the double-wing offensive scheme.

"We have a great offensive line. They really got us those touchdowns," said Driscoll after the game. A member of this 2018 senior class, he talked about what this season means to this group. "This class... it's driving us right now. A lot of the younger guys want to do it for the seniors, and that [in turn] is what motivates us seniors."

Another important factor that cannot be overlooked: Grafton controls its own destiny with the win tonight.

"We want to build upon this," said Coach McMahon afterward. "I thought the defense as a whole played real well. They did a great job of containing. Uxbridge has athletes all over the place who can make plays in a variety of ways... passing game, running game, QB scrambling..."

Additionally, Coach mentioned the quality of offensive play-calling and formation design of OC Binkowski, as well as the effort on the part of the different ball carriers tonight. The Indians put together a very complete game tonight and it showed. I expect to see no let down next week against Auburn, as McMahon and the coaching staff insist: "One day at a time. One practice at a time. One rep at a time. One game at a time." This squad will be ready to play next week

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