Bulldogs show bite in second half, top Astros 27-7


LEES CREEK — Playing Batavia’s week two game a night early seemed to suit Jason Griffin just fine.

Griffin was involved offensively, defensively and on special teams Thursday night for the Bulldogs in a 27-7 victory over the East Clinton Astros.

The junior tailback rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns, blocked an East Clinton punt, and came up with a huge fourth down sack early in the final quarter.

Trailing 21-7, East Clinton opened the fourth quarter with a 32-yard pass from Brendan Jenkins to Wyatt Floyd to the Batavia 34.

After converting one fourth down, the Astros would progress as far as the 15. On fourth and five, Griffin was there to sack Jenkins for an eight-yard loss to end the drive.

Batavia (2-0) would ice the game with a 12-play, 77-yard drive that ended with a Brandon Brookbank 16-yard touchdown run.

East Clinton played keep-away from the Bulldogs in the first half. The Astros controlled the ball and the clock, racking up 32 offensive plays. EC possessed the ball for almost 18 of the 24 first-half minutes.

The Astros took an early lead when Jenkins rolled out and found Patrick Dotson for a 30-yard touchdown pass on fourth down and 16.

However, it was one big offensive play for the Bulldogs that ensured a tie score at the intermission. Jason Griffin worked his way down the left sideline 57 yards. He single-handedly covered all 70 yards of the drive on two carries.

“We really just shot ourselves in the foot in the first half,” EC head coach Jeremy Yankey said. “We played OK defensively, then we give up one big play, and we go off at half at 7-7. I felt like we controlled the half. In the second half, they just came out and got the best of us.”

After gaining just 118 yards in the first half, Batavia’s rushing offense got rolling in the second. Batavia ran for 242 yards on 29 carries in the second half.

Meanwhile, East Clinton (0-2) gained just 15 yards on the ground in the second half on 13 carries. The Astros ran just 21 plays after halftime and picked up four first downs.

Batavia, held to just 13 offensive plays and three first downs in the first half, ran 29 plays and gained 13 first downs in the second half.

“They were getting off our edge and we were not playing assignment football on the edge, coming up and containing guys,” Yankey said. “That really was our downfall in the second half.”

The game was moved from Friday night to Thursday due to poor weather in the forecast for Friday.

According to Yankey, the Astros were notified of the change in the middle of a 2 1/2-hour practice on Wednesday, which he would cut short.

“It was the same for Batavia as well,” Yankey said. “We were anticipating practicing 2 1/2 hours to cover the offense. We were about halfway through practice, and I’m notified that we’re going to play the next day.

“We didn’t have the time to prepare, but I can’t use that as an excuse, because (Batavia) had the same amount of time.”

SUMMARY

Aug. 31, 2017

@East Clinton High School

Batavia 27, East Clinton 7

B 00.07.14.06…..27

E 07.00.00.00…..07

1st Quarter

EC – Brendan Jenkins 30-yard pass to Patrick Dotson (Austin Arellano kick) 4:52

2nd Quarter

B – Jason Griffin 57-yard run (Will Scaggs kick) 10:37

3rd Quarter

B – Griffin 5-yard run (Scaggs kick) 9:40

B – Brandon Brookbank 40-yard run (Scaggs kick) 27.8

4th Quarter

B – Jake Ellington 16-yard run (kick failed) 1:17

Team Stats:

PLAYS: B 42; EC 53. FIRST DOWNS: B 16; EC 12. RUSHES-YARDS: B 40-326; EC 36-65. PASSING YARDS: B 34; EC 114. COMPLETIONS-ATTEMPTS-INTERCEPTIONS: B 1-2-1; EC 9-17-0. TOTAL YARDS: B 360; EC 179. PENALTIES-YARDS: B 6-53; EC 6-45. FUMBLES-LOST: B 3-1; EC 0-0.

Individual Stats

Rushing (carries-yards):B Jason Griffin 15-148 2 TDs; Cullen Gerrard 2-12; Alex Jones 2-7; Brandon Brookbank 5-78 TD; Will Scaggs 3-9; Jake Ellington 10-72 TD. EC Luke Hanners 2-3; Brendan Jenkins 20-36; Kaleb Kingery 1-0; Todd Wedding 13-26.

Passing (completions-attempts-interceptions): B Will Scaggs 1-1-0 34 yds; Alex Jones 0-1-1. EC Jenkins 9-14-0 114 yards TD; Gunner Neanover 0-3-0.

Receiving (catches-yards): B Jason Griffin 1-34. EC Austin Rolfe 2-19; Wyatt Floyd 5-60; Patrick Dotson 2-35 TD.

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East Clinton’s Wyatt Floyd (9) and Patrick Dotson (88) during Thursday’s game with Batavia at ECHS.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/08/web1_FB2_ecfloydec88EC.jpgEast Clinton’s Wyatt Floyd (9) and Patrick Dotson (88) during Thursday’s game with Batavia at ECHS. Elizabeth Clark | News Journal

By Matt Sexton

WNJ Sports Writer

Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton.