Spoilers dominate home opener
Austin Contreras introduces Grafton’s ground game
The Grafton Spoilers showed the hometown fans a dominating opening night performance last Friday night in a 44-12 win against the Blue Jays of Stanley-Powers Lake.
Austin Contreras, a 170 pound senior led the ground attack rushing for 129 yards on six carries and scoring three touchdowns, all in the first half.
Julian Martinez also contributed two touchdowns and ran for 72 yards on 15 carries, again all in the first half.
“I was very happy with the physical push of our offensive line,” said Spoilers’ coach Tom Maus.
The Grafton attack plan was a completely different offensive approach than one week ago when the Spoilers aired it out in the 28-24 loss to the Park River-F-L Aggies. The Spoilers’ Hunter Baldwin only attempted eight passes this game compared to 20 last week.
“Hunter was more comfortable tonight, as he improves, the team will improve,” commented Maus.
“This was a good win to build off of,” said Maus. “We need that kind of physical play for the conference opener next week in Valley City.”
Defensively the Spoilers were led by the spirited efforts of Sergio Quijano. He led the defense with 14 tackles. Jose and Julian Martinez also contributed seven tackles each, Jaron Lunday had four and Zak Hernandez had three in shutting down the Blue Jays offense early.
“Sergio had a good game, we expect that out of him and if he keeps working he can be one of the top linemen in the state,” said Maus.
The Blue Jays failed to earn a first down until the 7:37 mark in the second quarter, although the generosity of the Spoilers’ special teams gave the Blue Jays several additional offensive opportunities.
“I am happy that we had ‘less’ turnovers tonight,” said Maus in reference to the improvement, although turnovers and penalties have plagued the Spoilers so far this season.
“We had a good week in practice and we are having some of the older guys stepping up into the leadership roles,” said Maus. “This game gave us an opportunity to play some of the younger guys too.”
Jason Garza was one of those that benefitted from the dominance of the Spoilers’ play. The freshman rushed for for 68 yards in 10 attempts, caught a pass for nine yards and scored his first varsity touchdown. The eleven-yard touchdown run capped a 65-yard, 14 play drive to add to the late Spoiler lead of 44-6 in the fourth quarter.
Grafton didn’t waste any time establishing their physical play. On their first possession they drove 72 yards in 13 plays that ended with an 11-yard touchdown run by Contreras to put the Spoilers up 6-0 in the first quarter.
Grafton added 8 more when they got the ball back after the Blue Jays’ first possession. The six-play drive that began at the Grafton 25 yard line concluded with a 28 yard touchdown run by Contreras, his second, for a Grafton 14-0 lead at the 3:08 mark of the first quarter.
The Spoilers got the ball back on a fumble recovery by Jaron Lunday with 1:25 left in the first quarter. Six plays later the Spoilers’ Martinez ran it in for six points from the 2-yard line and Garza added two more on the PAT pass from Baldwin at the 11:25 mark in the second quarter. The Spoiler lead grew to 22-0.
The Blue Jays were the beneficiary of Grafton miscues in the second quarter. After a Spoiler penalty for delay of game on the ensuing kickoff, the Blue Jays got the ball back in good field position, but failed to move the ball. The Spoilers fumbled the resulting punt on their own 37-yard line to give the Blue Jays a lift in spirit. Nine plays later and after a Spoilers’ 15-yard personal foul penalty and an interference call, the Blue Jays scored with 3:12 remaining in the first half to make the score 22-6 in favor of Grafton.
It took only one play and a 60 yard touchdown run by Contreras, his third, to lift the Spoilers to a score of 30-6.
One play later on the Blue Jays side, the Spoilers recovered a fumble and scored again three plays later on a 3-yard run by Martinez. The point after attempt failed but Grafton took a 36-6 lead into halftime.
In addition to the Grafton score by Garza, the only other score in the second half was a 26-yard run by Stanley’s Kellen Inget to bring the final score in the Grafton win to 44-12.
The Spoilers travel to Valley City next week for the first conference match-up of the season.