Dutchtown loses quarterback, gets shut out by CHS

Kyle Riviere
Dutchtown's Van'Shon Grayson is swallowed by a group of Bears in the Griffins' 20-0 loss on Friday night. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

It’s hard enough to beat defending district champion Catholic, but when you’re forced to battle injuries of key starters and a torrential downpour, the challenge becomes downright daunting.

Everything went against Dutchtown on Friday night.

They lost starting quarterback Ben Mays on the second possession, and then had to rely on two inexperienced quarterbacks to pull off the upset in horrible weather conditions that were not on their side.

The result was a 20-0 shutout loss that prevented a three-game Griffin winning streak.

“We talked about it going into the game. It was going to be important to get the early lead because we knew this stuff was coming,” head coach Guy Mistretta said. “So, when [Ben] goes down, that kind of takes the wind out of you. Of course, you have a contingency plan, and we had a few ideas, but to put those guys in this kind of weather makes it really difficult.

“Not to mention, that’s a really good defensive front over there. So, even in good weather, it would have been difficult. Obviously, I think they handled the conditions better than we did.”

Mays went down with an ankle injury during the second drive. Dutchtown ended up punting the ball away, and Catholic took over at their own 42-yard line.

They drove to the Griffin 9, but the defense stiffened and forced the Bears to settle for a 26-yard Preston Stafford field goal to go up 3-0.

On Catholic’s next drive, they got downfield in a hurry with a 32-yard completion by Cameron Dartez, but once again, the Griffin defense held them to a field goal.

This time, Stafford was good on a 19-yarder to put them ahead 6-0 at the start of the second quarter.

Looking for a spark offensively, Dutchtown looked to receiver Noah Gray to lead them at quarterback.

To start the Griffins’ next possession, he went play-action and hit tight end Brandon Davies over the middle for 40 yards, but the drive stalled at the Catholic 38.

Later, Gray went to the air again, but this time, he was picked off at the Griffin 28.

Five plays later, Parker Smith scored on a five-yard touchdown run to give the Bears a 13-0 lead.

That’s when the heavy rain came. A lightning delay put the game in a standstill for a little over an hour.

The Griffins’ best chance to score came early in the third quarter after they stuffed Catholic on a fake punt attempt at their own 43-yard line.

Though, Cohen Parent was forced to try a 45-yard field goal. In the sloppy conditions, his kick landed just short.

The Bears went on to miss two kicks.

However, they put the game away late in the game when they went on a six-play, 51-yard drive that ended with a three-yard touchdown run by Beau Griffon to put them up 20-0 with just 2:30 remaining.

In the effort, Griffon led all rushers with 101 yards and a score, while Smith added 74 yards and a touchdown of his own.

“That was probably our worst tackling game. I’m sure the weather had something to do with that, but it’s something we can’t afford to do next week,” Mistretta said. “Those guys have been doing that quite a bit, as far as bending but not breaking and giving us opportunities. They made some stands; we just didn’t have the firepower on offense tonight.”

Dutchtown was held to just 93 yards of total offense. Just 30 of those yards came on the ground.

The loss dropped the Griffins to 5-4 overall and 2-2 in the district.

Next week, Dutchtown will be on the road against McKinley, looking to earn the victory and finish the regular season with a winning record. It will also be critical as far as the postseason is concerned.

“A win next week probably gets us a home game in the first round, so that’s really important,” Mistretta said. “We have to figure out Ben’s health and figure out a game plan as we play a tough McKinley team.”