Down their starting QB, Griffins still win jamboree

Kyle Riviere
Terry Matthews' 80-yard touchdown gave Dutchtown a lead they never relinquished in their jamboree win over Denham Springs. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Usually, when a team's starting quarterback goes does at practice just a few days before the game, it's a recipe for disaster.

Not for Grant Arnett and Dutchtown.

Arnett went from taking snaps at receiver to being named the starting quarterback just two days before the Griffins' home jamboree matchup against Denham Springs. This came after starter Drelon Monroe went down with an ankle injury.

When it came to Thursday night, Arnett wasn't asked to do a lot, but what he did do was manage the game, avoid costly mistakes and lead his team to a 22-14 victory.

“Grant has been practicing off and on at quarterback and receiver all preseason," Dutchtown head coach Guy Mistretta said. "He wasn’t named the starter until Tuesday, when Dre’ went down with an injury. I thought a big story tonight was the way Grant Arnette played. He made a couple of minor mistakes, but for a guy that just found out he was starting two days ago, what a super job."

Denham Springs took the early lead.

DJ Williams returned the opening kickoff to the 50-yard line.

From there, the Yellow Jackets moved downfield in 11 plays and finished off the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by Luke Lunsford on a quarterback sneak.

Dutchtown tried to respond on their first possession. They marched 44 yards in eight plays, but the drive ended with a 41-yard Cohen Parent field goal that went wide right.

The Griffins later squandered an opportunity when they failed to capitalize on a Logan Scott interception.

It translated into a 7-0 deficit at halftime.

However, to start the second half, the Griffins went on a seven-play, 80-yard drive. It was aided by two Denham Springs personal foul calls.

That's when Arnett completed his only pass of the night--a 12-yard touchdown strike to tight end Jadyn Mckinney off of play-action. The Griffins converted a 2-point try to go ahead 8-7.

Although, Williams scorched Dutchtown again on the ensuing kickoff. He returned this one to the Griffin 45-yard line.

Four plays later, Lunsford hit a wide-open Hunter Bond in the back of the end zone for a touchdown that regained Denham Springs a 14-8 advantage.

Dutchtown didn't waste any time responding.

On their first offensive play following the Yellow Jacket score, Arnett got the ball to Terry Matthews on a jet sweep. Matthews cut the corner and exploded down the sideline untouched for an 80-yard touchdown to put the Griffins back ahead, 15-14.

"Terry’s a play-maker. It’s not surprising," Mistretta said. "He can do that if they give him something. If you give him good blocking, he can make those types of plays.”

Later, special teams finally worked to Dutchtown's advantage. They recovered a fumbled punt at the Denham Springs 14.

On the very next play, Jacobi Williams knifed through the middle for a touchdown run to ice away a 22-14 victory for the Griffins.

In the win, Dutchtown's defense held Denham Springs to 145 total yards.

“Our defense has really been playing well all preseason camp. It didn’t surprise me that they played well tonight," Mistretta said. "I think the biggest negatives tonight are two big kick returns. One got to the 50, and another got to our 45. They had short fields, and they converted on both of them. That was their two touchdowns, so we have to do a better job of that and give our defense a chance to give us field position.”

As for the Dutchtown offense, they produced 179 yards.

Eighty of those came on the run by Matthews. Also, Blayden Louis carried the ball nine times for 57 yards.

Mistretta said that they're hoping Monroe will only be out for a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, the Griffins will now prepare for their home opener against Walker next Friday night.