By Jeff Gayle
The Grapeland Sandies entered their home game Friday, Oct. 24 with a depleted roster against a large Price Carlisle team intent on proving their worth to the district. The Indians put a strangle hold on the Sandies' smaller squad in the form of a 63-14 strong-armed win.
After early hopes by the Sandies, the Indians scored almost at will to lead by 23 points at the half.
The Sandies started on offense and showed what they have shown all season, which is that they have a strong passing game versus anyone. On second down Sandie quarterback Isaac Lewis moved the team deep in Indian territory passing to Riley Chipman twice, then bringing the Sandies to the Indian 10. But the last play was called all the way back to the Sandie 35 on a holding call.
On the next play Lewis dropped back and found Tink McQuirter down the sideline for a 65-yard touchdown and the early Sandie lead. The PAT failed but the Sandies found some early excitement.
The Indians, however, showed their strength early by driving right down the field on runs by quarterback Collin Gray and running back Tiburcio Garcia to set up a 10-yard passing TD from Gray to receiver Dalton. The PAT was good and the score stood at 7-6 that way through the first quarter.
The Sandies defense played well during this span, as did the offense with a long completion to Rodney Davis but the ball was turned over on downs at the Indian 9.
The second quarter was a tough one for the Sandies as the Indians combined for a 16-yard running TD, a 65-yard passing TD and an interception return TD to lead 29-6 at the half.
One late first-half highlight for the Sandies was a Davis interception to end the half.
The third quarter wasn't much better for the home team. Garcia showed his dominance running over and around the young Sandies for touchdowns of 28 yards, 12 yards and a short bulling over of three yards.
The Sandies did respond late, though, by moving into Indian Territory to start the fourth quarter.
A long pass to McQuirter was nullified by penalty, but the Sandies still drove to the Indian 49 on some tough running by Lewis and running back Kaleb Leonard. The drive stalled, however, and on a long fourth down the Sandies surprised the Indians with a pass from punt formation from Lewis to Chipman for a twisting and exciting 48-yard touchdown pass and run. Leonard added the 2-point conversion bringing the score to Indians 43, Sandies 14 with 10:30 to go.
After the kick Grapeland's defense held up and forced a Carlisle punt that traveled all the way to the Sandie 1 yard line. But the offense was stumped and had to punt, which the Indians returned all the way for the score. After the PAT, the score stood a lopsided 50-14.
During this part of the fourth quarter Sandie Scotland Duval was carried off the field on a stretcher but as of this writing, appears to be okay. The young Sandies just seemed to run out of steam at this point and the long quarter resulted in two more Indian touchdowns.
A few bright spots did show in the game. Quarterback Isaac Lewis, the Offensive Player of the Game, continues his great season, completing 12 of 29 attempts for 267 yards and two touchdowns with 3 interceptions.
Davis had two receptions for 96 yards, McQuirter had 2 for 88 yards and one TD, and Chipman had 6 for 79 yards and one TD. Cameron Riess, Aaron Davis, and Kaleb Leonard also stood out on offense.
Defensive Player of the Week was Rodney Davis, who stood out with an interception, 8 tackles and a blocked punt. Chipman, P.J. Lewis, Zach Lewis and Ashton Henry were also defensive standouts.