GRAETTINGER - There's an old adage that says good things come to those who wait. For Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire's Titans, the wait is over. The first win of the program's history was earned Friday night with a 59-14 blowout over CAL-Latimer. The win was doubly meaningful for the Titans, who celebrated Homecoming in both the Graettinger-Terril and the Ruthven-Ayrshire districts during the week.
A big first quarter would give the Titans the momentum they needed on Friday, , after the Cadets of CAL, the district comprised of the communities of Coulter, Alexander and Latimer, took the ball on the opening kickoff but were held to three downs and a punt.
After fielding the ball and being penalized on the return, the Titans were in CAL territory at the 30 and hit paydirt quickly as Carter Williamson ran in from 16 yards out to score. Kyle Dalen ran in the two-point conversion to give the Titans an early 8-0 lead with 9:16 to play in the opening quarter.
CAL?would go three and out again, but a penalty, a thorn in the side of the Titans in previous games, set GT/RA?back to start their second possession. However, the penalty was a minor setback as the Titans only needed six plays to score as Kyle Dalen scored off a three-yard run with 5:36 to go in the quarter for a 14-0 lead after the conversion failed.
After another punt, GT/RA got the ball at the Cadets' 27 yard line and quarterback Blaze Alesch kept the ball for an 18 yard run down to the nine. Carter Williamson would add runs of eight yards and one yard to tally the score for a 20-0 lead with 2:48 to go in the first frame.
A great defensive play on the resulting kickoff came from Carter Williamson when he forced a fumble on the kickoff return by CAL that the Titans would recover at the eight-yard line of CAL.
The Titans struck quickly after the turnover, as GT/RA quarterback Blaze Alesch looked to pass but found room to run instead. Alesch tucked the ball in and raced in from eight yards on the keep for the 26-0 lead.
CAL would try to regroup, only to fumble the ball back to the Titans after a first down at their own 25. The Titans would use the turnover to their advantage again, as Williamson would blow through the defense to score from 24 yards out to give GT/RA?a 32-0 lead when the first quarter ended.
After a three and out by the Cadets to start the second quarter, the Titans got a great return on the punt from Garrett Parker, who returned the ball 60 yards for a touchdown. Mason McGrauth would boot the conversion for a 40-0 lead with 11:49 to go in the first half, which also started the continuous clock for the rest of the game.
At that point, Coach Tod Hough brough the Titans' reserves into the contest to give them some valuable varsity game experience.
CAL would finally erase the goose egg on the scoreboard with 3:30 to go in the half off a 15 yard touchdown run.
However, the Titans would answer that score with one of their own, as Blaze Alesch would field the resulting kickoff at the Titan's five-yard line and raced 75 yards downfield to score the kickoff return touchdown. and 46-7 lead.
But, the Cadets would find the end zone once more before the intermission off a 27-yard pass play and then completed the two-point conversion for a 46-14 score.
But with time running out in the half, once again special teams would make their mark. On the ensuing kickoff, Mason McGrauth fielded the kickoff on the Titans' 10-yard line and returned the ball 70 yards for the score with 42 seconds left on the clock. McGrauth then kicked his own extra point to give GT/RA the 53-14 lead at the half-time break.
With the clock running continuously through the second half, the remainder of the game went quickly, with GT/RA making one final strike in the final quarter as reserve quarterback Lane Reiman found Marcus Girres in the open with a 78 yard throw for the game's final touchdown and 59-14 final tally.
For Graettinger-Terril/ Ruthven-Ayrshire, the offense rolled up 199 yards of rushing, led by Carter Williamson's seven runs for 81 yards. Blaze Alesch added four rushes to pick up 73 yards and Kyle Dalen added 19 yards on his four rushing attempts.
The defense of the Titans was big in the victory, as Carter Williamson came up with two fumble recoveries and Victor Handy recovered one fumble. Tyler Hoffman added an interception to the Titans' efforts, while Zach Chicoine got two quarterback sacks and the trio of Kyler Dose, Cody Thompson and Kyle Long all had one sack each.
With the first win under their belts, the Titans have little time to savor the victory, as they find themselves tasked with a road trip on Friday to take on the Mustangs of Newell-Fonda in Newell.