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Backfield trio lead Grafton past Lewis

by Randall Jett

CORRESPONDENT

GRAFTON -- Andy Leach rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another to lead Grafton past Lewis County, 32-6, in Big 10 football action on Friday at McKinney Field.

The Bearcats (2-0, 2-0 Big 10) opened the game with Brian McKinney's 48-yard kickoff return and scored six plays later on a Leach 1 yard plunge.

Leach scored his second touchdown early in the second quarter, again from 1 yard, to give Grafton a 12-0 lead with 10:33 left in the first half.

"I was happy with the way we started and finished," Grafton coach Mike Skinner said. "The second and third quarters, I was a little scared because (Lewis) dominated those quarters. When they scored to make it 12-6 and stopped us (on our next drive), I was concerned."

Lewis (1-1, 1-1) scored on the opening drive of the second half on quarterback Chase Ruble's 2-yard run. The drive was set up by Robert Britton's 34-yard run to the Grafton 2.

But after Lewis stopped Grafton on its next drive, the Bearcats dominated the game.

"We didn't play our kind of football, and we didn't play up to our potential tonight," first-year LC coach Bob Wood said. "Our kids need to focus on what they need to do and find ways to win football games on the road."

Grafton forced Lewis to a three-and-out drive on the Minutemen's next possession.

Then, Leach found Ryan McKinney on Grafton's first play for a 67-yard scoring strike to add cushion to the Bearcats' lead.

Grafton then forced three consecutive Lewis turnovers, including Chase Morris' 21-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Zack Wininger scored Grafton's final TD on a 74-yard run.

"We are a young team but are opportunistic about taking the ball away," Skinner said. "Morris and McKinney came up with big plays that turned the game around."

Morris also had a fumble recovery, while McKinney finished with two interceptions.

In its two wins, Grafton has forced 10 turnovers.

Offensively, Kevin Efaw and Wininger led Grafton on the ground with 110 yards each, while Lewis was led by Britton's 127 yards rushing.

Grafton faces Magnolia at home next week, and Lewis faces Big 10 rival Bridgeport at home next week.