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Woodward tops Grady 31-0

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The Grady Knights take the field confidently before their 31-0 loss.

The Grady Knights take the field confidently before their 31-0 loss.

Sean Sweeney

Sean Sweeney

The Grady Knights take the field confidently before their 31-0 loss.

Sean Sweeney

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On the warm evening of Aug. 25 in College Park, the Grady Knights took on the Woodward Academy War Eagles. Going into the game, Grady owned a 0-1 record after dropping their season opener 21-7 against rival North Atlanta. Woodward faced higher stakes, as this game was their home opener. Last season, Grady defeated Woodward in Midtown 14-10. The War Eagles however had a better 2016 season, finishing 11-2 overall.

     In the first quarter, Woodward struck first after a strong first possession that ended in a 23 yard rush for a touchdown. The Knights showed grit on offense, having 2 possessions that saw 2 first downs each, but both resulted in punts. The first quarter ended with Woodward leading 7-0.

    Early in the second, the Knights fumbled a snap that placed Woodward on Grady’s 25 yard line. Woodward capitalized by via a kick through the uprights to increase their lead to 10. Grady responded with a strong drive, but Woodward intercepted a pass at the 15 yard line to stop the Grady threat. The momentum followed the War Eagles, as they drove down the field and ended their drive with a 26 yard touchdown pass. With 1 minute remaining in the half, Woodward attempted a 20 yard field goal but it was blocked by Grady. With one second left, Grady attempted a 43 yard field goal, but it fell short. At the half, it was 17-0.

    Woodward came out of the locker room strong, scoring with 8 minutes remaining in the 3rd on a beautiful touch down reception to bring the score to 24-0.

    The Knights threatened again late in the third quarter and found the end zone on a 20 yard run, but it was held up because of a holding call. After two more attempts at the end zone they turned the ball over on downs with 4 minutes remaining in the third.

    Woodward drove down the field late in the third for another receiving touchdown, to push the score to 31-0.  Grady responded by getting down the field in a hurry, and opened the fourth on Woodward’s 19 yard line. The War Eagles spoiled the opportunity however, and Grady turned the ball over on downs. Woodward ended the game with a long, scoreless possession and defeated the Knights 31-0.

    After having reviewed the tapes of the game a few days later, The Southerner caught up with Coach Moreland to ask what went wrong.

“We just made careless mistakes,” Moreland said, “[Going into next game] we have to be more sound on defense, line up correctly, do our assignments and we can’t point the finger at others. If we want to compete in this region, we have to make sure we’re doing the little things right and if we do that we will see a change going forward the rest of the season. The good thing about these first three games is that they are all out of region, so we still have just as good of a chance to defend [our region title].”

    A somber mood surrounded the Knights after a disappointed Coach Moreland gave them a harsh post game speech. With the loss Grady dropped to 0-2, and will look to bounce back in their next game at home against Lithia Springs on September 14.  

Sean Sweeney
Running Back Craig Philpot rushes for a touchdown, only to have it called off due to a holding call.

Sean Sweeney
Woodward celebrates after one of their four touchdowns on the night.

Sean Sweeney
The Grady Knights take the field confidently before their 31-0 loss.

Sean Sweeney
Grady coach Earthwind Moreland has a stern postgame speech with his team.

Sean Sweeney
The teams shake hands following the War Eagles’ triumphant victory.

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Woodward tops Grady 31-0