PRYOR- With a solid defensive effort that came within two big plays of a shutout, the Grove Ridgerunners got just enough offense to grind out a 27-13 over the Pryor Tigers in the district opener for both teams.
Leading 21-13 with 7:04 left in the game, the Ridgerunners took over on their own 37 after a Pryor touchdown and went on a 13-play drive that moved the ball inside the Tiger 10 before Grove turned the ball over on downs with 44 seconds left in the contest, effectively ending the game.
Running back Buck Maples did yeoman's work on the drive and in the game, gaining 31 yards on seven carries on the drive and finishing with 122 yards on 27 attempts for the game.
The decisive drive was an echo of the Ridgerunners' opening possession of the game. Taking over on their own 20 after receiving the opening kickoff, GHS went 80 yards in 14 plays to score the game's opening touchdown.
Maples ran the ball six times on the drive, including one final carry from two yards out to score. Quarterback Adam Steffenson found Chase Manicom for four completions covering 43 yards on the drive.
But the Tigers wasted no time striking back. Living up to their big-play reputation, Pryor got a 45-yard touchdown pass from Christian Considine to Cory Ramsey to make the score 7-6 with 2:38 left in the opening quarter.
For the second straight game it was the punting ability of Bobby Harris that led directly to a Grove touchdown. Harris' 41-yard punt on the second play of the second quarter was downed at the three yard line.
On the next play a fumbled handoff was recovered in the end zone by none other than Harris, giving GHS a 14-6 lead.
The Ridgerunners used field position on their first possession of the second half. After Grove's Jimmy Roach tackled Shelby Kyle at the 10 yard line on the second half kickoff, a three-and-out by the Grove defense and a 35-yard punt gave Grove the ball at the Pryor 49 yard line.
Facing a second and 11 from the 38, Steffenson found Brody Smith for a 30-yard completion inside the Tiger 10. Maples would score two plays later from five yards out to extend the lead to 15.
The Ridgerunners appeared to have things under control, stopping the Tigers on three straight possessions. But Considine found Treyce Epps over the middle with a completion, and after cutting to the left, Epps dashed to the end zone to cut the deficit to eight midway through the final period.
But after the Ridgerunner offense salted away most of the rest of the game, the defense stopped Pryor on downs at the Tiger 13. Steffenson would find Smith for another touchdown as time expired for the final margin.
Now 3-1 and 1-0 in district play, the Ridgerunners will host Tulsa Central for Homecoming next week. The Braves are also 3-1 and 1-0 in district after defeating Tahlequah 21-14 in overtime on Friday.
Grove 27, Pryor 13
RUSHING 175 112
PASSING 93 86
TOTAL 268 198
1ST DOWNS 13 10
C-A-I 8-16-1 8-18-1
TURNS. 1 (int) 3 (2 fumb, 1 int)
PENS. 8-65 5-35
PUNTS 5-36.4 3-36
DOWNS 6/14 2/9
GHS- Buck Maples: 27-122-2TDS. Adam Steffenson: 14-58. Jerrod Leach: 1-2. Benny Steffenson: 1-2. Cameron Smith: 1-(-9).
PHS- Christian Considine: 11-53. Austen Bruner: 7-33. Dakota Cox: 9-26.
GHS: Brody Smith: 3-45. Chase Manicom: 4-43. Jerrod Leach: 1-5.
PHS: Cory Ramsey: 1-45. Treyce Epps: 1-44. [number 9]: 2-13. Shelby Kyle: 2-14.
Zekke Stump: 1-17. [number 11]: 1-9.
5:39 GHS Maples 2-yd run (Krause kick) GHS 7-0.
2:38 PHS 24 45-yd pass from Considine (kick missed). GHS 7-6.
11:35 GHS Harris fumble recovery in end zone (Krause kick). GHS 14-6.
7:54 GHS Maples 5-yd run (Krause kick). GHS 21-6.
7:04 PHS [number 3] 44-yd pass from Considine [14 kick]. GHS 21-13.
:00 GHS Smith 7-yd pass from Steffenson [kick missed]. GHS 27-13.