GROVE- What began as a shootout ended in a rout as the Grove Ridgerunners scored 32 of the final 39 points to run away with the Delaware County Bowl 51-29.
The Ridgerunners got 180 yards and three touchdowns from Buck Maples and four touchdown passes from quarterback Adam Steffenson to overwhelm Brandon Edge and the Bulldogs in the second half.
Edge finished the game with 259 yards and three touchdowns, completing 27 of his 40 pass attempts, but a long dry spell by the Jay offense doomed the Bulldogs' effort, while a relentless Ridgerunner offense scored on eight of its first nine possessions.
But it was Edge and Bulldogs who struck first, taking the opening kickoff and marching down the field in 10 plays for the first score of the night. Edge, who completed 10 of his first 11 pass attempts on the night, found wideout Kyle Shambaugh for a 29-yard gain down the right sideline to move the ball to the Ridgerunner 19.
Four plays later Shai Jones dove in from the one yard line to make it 7-0.
The Ridgerunners struck back immediately, with Maples going 52 yards on the second play of the drive to tie the score.
Edge moved Jay back down the field with precision passing, finding Shambaugh with a jump ball in the left corner of the end zone to make it 14-7.
But in an almost exact replay of his first touchdown, Maples tore through the middle of the Jay defense for a second touchdown, this time from 44 yards out. A botched snap on the extra point resulted in the Bulldogs retaining the lead at 14-13.
Jay would march back down the field to within inches of the goal line. But a false start on fourth and goal led to an Edge incompletion and a turnover on downs.
But Jay would get the ball back on Steffenson's only miscue of the night, forcing the ball into coverage where it was intercepted, setting up the Bulldogs at the 21 yard line.
Six plays later, Edge found tight end Josh Ramsey, who made a leaping grab over a Grove defender for the touchdown to make it 21-13 Jay halfway through the second quarter.
But that would be the last points for Jay until the fourth quarter, and Steffenson would lead the Ridgerunners back into the lead. GHS would move quickly down the field, getting runs of 17 and 14 yards from sophomore back Benny Steffenson and a 20-yard run from Adam to move inside the 20. Adam Steffenson would then find Trent Phillips with a sharp pass over the middle for a 12-yard touchdown.
After a Jay punt, Grove would take the lead for good just before halftime, when Steffenson found Tyler Crossley with a pass down the right seam. Crossley then cut left away from a Jay defender and raced 47 yards for a touchdown. Phillips was stopped just short of the goal line on the two-point conversion try to make it 25-21 Grove at the half.
The Ridgerunners had the lead despite the fact that Jay held the ball for 17:21 and ran 37 plays in the half, while Grove held the ball for just 6:39 and ran 16 plays.
GHS would get more methodical in the second half, beginning with their first possession. After a mix of runs by Benny Steffenson and Jerrod Leach, Adam Steffenson ended the drive with a perfecly lofted pass down the left sideline to Cameron Smith for a 29-yard score and a 31-21 lead.
The tide would turn for good on the ensuing Jay possession. After an Edge pass into the left flat was completed, the subsequent hit resulted in a fumble which was recovered by Grove's Kyle Summerfield.
Summerfield returned the ball to the Jay 10 before being tackled, but caught a Steffenson pass three plays later for a seven-yard score and a 38-21 Grove lead.
Jay would move the ball back down the field, helped in part by two Grove 15-yard penalties, but the drive stalled at the Grove 13 yard line.
Grove would move back down the field in eight running plays, with Maples cashing it in from 11 yards out to make it 44-21 early in the fourth quarter.
Edge would strike back with his third touchdown pass of the night two minutes later, but Maples would score again from 41 yards out with just under six minutes to play for the final margin.
Maples finished with 180 yards on just 10 carries, while Benny Steffenson chipped in 96 yards as the Ridgerunners rolled up 362 yards rushing.
Steffenson finished 9-of-10 for 120 yards.
Shambaugh finished with 104 yards on nine catches.
The Ridgerunners, now 2-0, will travel to Wagoner next week to take on the Bulldogs. Jay, now 0-2, will host McDonald County, Missouri next Friday.
Grove 51, Jay 27
GHS 13 12 13 13 51
JHS 14 7 0 6 27
7:10 Jay- S. Jones 1-yard run (Meeker kick). 7-0 Jay
6:12 GHS- Maples 52-yard run (Krause kick). 7-7
3:!1 Jay- Shambaugh 4-yard pass from Edge (Meeker kick). 14-7 Jay
2:25 GHS- Maples 44-yard run (Conversion failed.) 14-13 Jay
6:56 Jay- Ramsey 9-yard pass from Edge (Meeker kick). 21-13 Jay
5:18 GHS- Phillips 12-yard pass from Steffenson (Conversion failed). 21-19 Jay
2:09 GHS- Crossley 47-yard pass from Steffenson (Conversion failed.) 25-21 GHS
8:47 GHS- Smith 29-yard pass from Steffenson (Conversion failed). 31-21 GHS
6:05 GHS- Summerfield 7-yard pass from Steffenson (Krause kick). 38-21 GHS
10:08 GHS- Maples 11-yard run (Conversion failed). 44-21 GHS
8:05 Jay- 35 13-yard pass from Edge (Conversion failed). 44-27 GHS
5:51 GHS- Maples 41-yard run (Krause kick) 51-27 GHS
First downs 18 14
Rushing 66 362
Passing 259 120
CAI 27-40-0 9-10-1
Total yards 325 482
T.O.P. 26:04 21:56
Turnovers 1 1
Pen. 2-20 6-61
Passing: Edge: 27/40 259 yards, 3TD, 0 Int.
Rushing: Hayden White: 5-24. S. Jones: 5-23.
Receiving: Shambaugh: 9-104. S. Jones: 5-47. Ramsey: 4-42.
Passing: A. Steffenson: 9/10 120 yards, 4TD, 1 Int.
Rushing: Maples: 10-180, 3TD. B Steffenson: 12-96.
Receiving: Phillips: 3-21 TD.