The Grand Oaks Grizzlies tried some tricks at Wood Forest Bank Stadium on Halloween night early in the game, but it was the Mavericks who enjoyed the treats with a solid 31-17 victory on Thursday night.
By Justin Maskulinski, Staff writer
The Grizzlies (5-4) opened scoring after forcing a turnover on the game’s first play. Kicker Grant Nickel recovered the Mavericks’ fumble on the opening kickoff, then Micah Cooper scored on a 34-yard fourth-down run four plays later.
“Obviously, if you go up, you’re happy,” Jackson said of the start. “What we weren’t able to overcome was they physically controlled the line of scrimmage most of the night and they should. We kind of knew that coming in. Even when we had success, it wasn’t success that we could really sustain.”
Cooper rushed for 106 yards on 12 carries to pace the Grand Oaks offense. Austin Callies added 65 yards on 16 attempts.
Memorial (4-5) scored the next three touchdowns and took a 21-7 lead into halftime.
Xavier Lerma scored the first of his two touchdowns on the Mavericks’ first drive of the night. After a 33-yard pass from Luke Giron to Jordan See, Lerma ran outside for a 7-yard score.
Lerma was the catalyst for the visitors’ offense all night. He totaled 127 yards on 19 carries.
See capped the second Memorial drive with a 4-yard touchdown run on a naked boot.
With 7:41 to play in the second quarter, Lerma took a handoff on third down and finished in the end zone 34 yards later.
Grand Oaks marched down to the 11-yard line on its final possession of the opening half but was unable to score. An offensive pass interference sent them backward 15 yards, then Nickel’s 45-yard field goal attempt fell short.
The Grizzlies were flagged six times for 52 yards in the first half, then only had one penalty for five yards in the second half.
See set up, and scored, the first touchdown of the second half. He had a run of 36 yards and a catch of 24 before sneaking in on fourth and goal from the 1-yard line to extend the Maverick lead to 28-7 with 4:40 to play in the third quarter.
The next Memorial score, a 36-yard field goal made by Elvis Castro, was set up by a fumble recovery.
In the fourth quarter, a Grand Oaks drive reached 16 plays before it stalled out near midfield. The Grizzlies reached the Memorial 32-yard line before consecutive losses of 10 and nine yards killed the drive.
A misdirection handoff to Cooper gained 50 yards to begin the Grizzlies 10th drive of the night. The long run set up a first and goal from the 4-yard line. Sirr-Davion Jackson capped the drive with a 2-yard run with 3:33 to play.
The ensuing kickoff was kicked onside and recovered by Grand Oaks’ Chris Vandenbergh. The Grand Oaks drive began at the 50-yard line and ended with a 35-yard field goal by Nickel.