With the absence of familiar faces in leadership, the Grove Ridgerunners looked to have a rough game against the Miami Wardogs for Homecoming 2019.
Freshmen Carson Trimble and Emmanuel Crawford led the team from the quarterback and running back positions for a 28-21 win over their rivals from Miami in front of an impressive crowd of 3,287.
Grove 28, Miami 21
Grove started the game by kicking off to the Wardogs. The Ridgerunner's defense would hold them, forcing Miami to punt after just having possession of the ball for 2:16. Grove took over at 9:44 and less than a minute later, Trimble had connected with Malachi McClure for a 72 yard touchdown pass. Nick Allsup's kick was good and Grove took a 7-0 lead.
The Wardogs, not to be shown up, marched down the field and scored on a 10 yard pass from Gavin Payton to Josh Throneberry. Skyler Judd's kick was good and the game was tied at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter began with a punt from Miami. The Ridgerunners kept it on the ground and Crawford found a hole, going 48 yards for another touchdown. The kick was good and Grove once again took the lead, 14-7.
Miami was soon faced with a 4th and 1 situation, Payton would get the yard and the Wardogs would continue up the field. Then, Miami fumbled on a handoff and Grove's Anthony Lucky recovered the ball, putting Grove back on offense. Moments later, the Ridgerunners muffed the exchange, but were able to maintain possession.Grove was facing a 4th and 2, Trimble handed it off to Crawford who got the first down. Another blown pass in the backfield resulted in Miami recovering the ball and another Wardog touchdown as Payton found Throneberry in the end zone on a 39 yard pass. The quarter ended 14-14.
The constant back and forth scoring would continue into the third quarter. This time Miami would score first, taking a momentary lead lasting a mere 17 seconds. The Wardog's Payton connected with Damion Burris on a 27 yard touchdown pass to go up 21-14.
Grove would answer two plays later with an 80 yard pass from Trimble to Crawford to tie the game, 21-21.
The fourth quarter was controlled by Grove. The Ridgerunners would score the final touchdown of the night with 10:50 left in the game. Crawford ran 13 yards to put Grove up 28-21. On the defensive side, Kai Sarwinski, who was crowned homecoming king hours earlier, caught an interception to give Grove another shot at scoring. After being unable to convert, the Ridgerunners were forced to punt. With just 11 seconds left in the game, Grove's Braden Pittman also caught an interception, allowing Grove to take a knee to win the Rotary Bowl for the seventeenth time.
The Ridgerunners racked up 135 rushing yards and 234 passing yards for a total of 369 total yards of offense. Grove had two turnovers and had eight penalties for 85 yards.
Miami earned 79 yards of rushing and 195 of passing offense for a total of 274. The Wardogs had four turnovers and nine penalties for 75 yards.
From the pocket, Trimble was 7-15 for 234 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Trimble also rushed ten times for -18 yards.
Crawford led in rushing yards, having 24 carries for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Matt Bush had four carries for 9 yards.
McClure led in catches, having five matches for 145 yards and one touchdown. Crawford had one catch for 80 yards and a touchdown. Lucky had one reception for nine yards.
Grove moves to 2-2 on the season and will face the 3-1 Wagoner Bulldogs. Wagoner has defeated Catoosa (56-7), Fort Gibson (49-7) and Coweta (36-27). The Bulldogs only loss this season comes from the Pryor Tigers, who bested Wagoner by one point, 42-41.
The game will begin at 7 p.m. in Wagoner.