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Titans earn playoff trip

Win over NE Hamilton puts GTRA in third place in 8-Man District 2

October 18, 2013
By David Swartz - Managing Editor , Estherville News

GRAETTINGER - If there was any doubt if Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire had qualified for the playoffs, the Titans put those fears at ease with a 34-8 win over Northeast Hamilton on Friday.

With the victory, GTRA is now 5-3 overall at 4-2 in district play with one game left and have the third-seed sewn up in Class 8-Man District 2 behind league leaders West Bend-Mallard and Newell-Fonda. The top four teams in each district qualify for the playoffs

On Friday, GTRA's defense didn't give up a touchdown from scrimmage with the Trojans lone score coming on a 75-yard kickoff return in the second half.

Article Photos

On fourth and 7 from the Northeast Hamilton 20-yard line, GTRA’s Jake Wegener gets behind the Trojan defense for the first touchdown of the night. Watching the play are teammates Marcus Girres (2) and Cody Thompson (52).
Photo by David Swartz

"I thought our defense played extremely well again tonight," said GTRA coach Todd Hough, whose team shut out North Iowa a week earlier. "We were worried because Northeast Hamilton has some good backs. But we made some big stops.

"On offense, we put some points on the board and executed well on third down," he continued.

The Titans struck first on Friday. After battling up and down the field most of the first quarter, GTRA put a drive together after stopping the visitors on fourth-and 2 at the Titan 22.

GTRA converted a third and 4 on the drive and then faced fourth and 7 at the Trojan 20 a bit later.

After discussing the issue in a timeout, the Titans came up with a 20-yard pass from Marcus Girres to Jake Wegener, who got behind the defense. Girres then ran in the two-point conversion as the hosts led 8-0 with 10 seconds left in the opening frame.

GTRA quickly got the ball back and this time scored on a 52-yard run by Kyle Dalen. The final score before halftime came on a 32-yard pass from Michael Girres to Garrett Parker with 32 seconds on the clock. The two-point conversion attempt failed, but the hosts led 20-0 at the break.

GTRA struck quickly in the third quarter with Michael Girres scoring on a 42-yard run at the 11:41 mark of the third period. This time Mason McGrauth ran in the two-point conversion.

Northeast Hamilton followed with its lone score on a 75-yard kickoff return 10 seconds later.

The final score came with 4:55 left in the game on a 30-yard run by McGrauth.

The Titans finished with 253 yards on the ground on 52 carries. They were 10-of-14 passing for 125 yards.

Individually, Michael Girres had 70 yards on 12 carries, McGrauth had 56 yards on 14 carries and Dalen had 26 yards on 18 carries. Michael Girres was 4-of-6 passing for 58 yards and Marcus Girres was 6-of-8 passing for 67 yards.

Ethan Petersen caught three passes for 35 yards, Wegener caught two for 36 yards, Parker caught one pass for 32 yards, McGrauth and Michael Girres each caught a pass for 10 yards and Dalen caught two passes for 2 yards.

Defensively, Alex Hoffman had 15 tackles, Matt McGrauth had seven, Michael Girres had six, Petersen had five and Mason McGrauth, Daniel Moyer and Damian Suwalski each had three tackles. Mason McGrauth had the lone sack for GTRA.

GTRA ends the regular season on the road against Corwith-Wesley-Luverne (2-8) next Friday.



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