A developed run game is part of both Huskies’ and Bearcats’ recipe in opening playoff game


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Despite both teams being in the Big Ten Conference, Grafton and North Marion haven’t seen each other on the gridiron in the past three high school football seasons.

The Bearcats haven’t been in the postseason since 2011.

Grafton enters the postseason at 7-2 and the Bearcats are on a six game win streak.

What got the Bearcats to this point? Sixth year head coach Rich Bord said the progression of the line throughout the season.

“I think the whole thing has been the development of our guys up front. We knew going into the season that we had some pretty good skill kids. We were able to test them quite a bit this summer in some seven on sevens,” Bord said. “The whole issue was going to be what our guys up front develop and they have been the difference because from the second half of the season, we’ve been able to run the ball   successfully and that makes us a little more difficult to defend.”

Two seniors in quarterback Tanner Moats and receiver Kaden Delaney agree that their offense is a big strength of their team. Not only the developed run game, but the pass game too.

The chemistry between the QB and his receivers has been built through years of playing together.

“We’ve been playing together for a long time and I trust them. I throw it up and they’ll go get it,” Moats said.

“I feel like we can get it to anywhere on the field we want to and if anyone stops us, it’s ourselves,” Delaney said.

The Bearcats said they certainly know the caliber of team they’re up against.

The Huskies are not new to the playoff picture. Daran Hays and company make their fourth straight postseason appearance.

The Huskies also enter this game on a six game win streak.

While watching film, Huskies head man Daran Hays noticed the Bearcats haven’t played an opponent similar to his team.

“They haven’t played a whole lot of teams that are similar to us in terms of spread out, playing with tempo and things like that.  That makes it a little more difficult to scout,” Hays said. “Typically we get a few teams  that we can really focus on one or two films, there’s really only one maybe that stands out as being pretty similar to us. So that makes it a little difficult but they’re really skilled. They have a lot of really good players on the outside and I think they play really hard.”

Huskies QB1 Brody Hall said his team must be on their A-game.

“They’re a good team. We’re going to have to play a good game in all three phases, don’t take anything for granted  and just game plan how we would for anybody else. They’re super athletic, super skilled, very well coached,” Hall said.

Two things stood out when asking what the Huskies have to do in order to get a win on Friday- protect the football and establish the run game early.

So both teams look to utilize a strong ground game in order to move on in the postseason.

The two square off in Rachel on Friday at 7:30 p.m.  

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