By LLOYD COMBS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
GRUNDY, Va. —
After a lifeless first half the Grundy offense showed more life in the second half than it has all year.
The Golden Wave pulled away in the fourth quarter to a 34-14 homecoming win over East Ridge (Ky.) Friday night at Nelson Memorial Field.
A big drive, a big call and a series of big plays in the second half helped Grundy (3-4) end a three-game losing streak.
Nick Travis, Daniel Ellis and Kade Hackney combined to lead a running game that turned things around for the Golden Wave.
A Trey Smith interception set up a short field for Grundy’s only first-half touchdown, a 3-yard run by Travis late in the opening period.
East Ridge (1-7) tied the score at 7-7 after a 1TD run by Caleb Skeens with two seconds left to play before halftime.
In the third period a 61-yard run by Ellis keyed a 6-play, 90-yard drive that gave Grundy the lead for good. Hackney took three defenders with him on his feet into the end zone on a 13-yard touchdown run.
Travis added a 19-yard scoring early in the fourth period to stake the Wave to a 21-14 advantage.
On its next series a bad snap allowed East Ridge to blocked a Grundy punt to set up a 6-yard touchdown run by Michael Fields that got the Warriors within 21-14 with 5:24 remaining.
Grundy fumbled the ball two plays later and after a scramble it was ruled that East Ridge had recovered the ball. Wave coach Jeremy Ward protested, the officials met and then ruled that a Wave lineman had possession of the ball and was down before it came out a second time.
Two plays after that Dylan Billiter took the ball on a flanker reverse and tossed it downfield to Ellis for a 72-yard TD pass.
Billiter then intercepted an East Ridge pass and Travis ripped off a 43-yard touchdown run with 51 seconds remaining.
“After we started off well we sputtered a little bit and once that happened we kind of struggled moving the ball and let them score just before halftime,” Ward said. “We made some adjustments and moved around some kids and they all responded to the challenge.
“Travis. Ellis and Hackney were all running hard, the offensive line did a great job opening holes for them, especially in the second half, all of them. I couldn’t be more pleased effort tonight.”
East Ridge turned the ball over four times.
Grundy travels to Clintwood on Friday.
East Ridge..............0 7 0 7 — 14
Grundy.....................7 0 7 20 — 34
G-Travis 3run (Mutter kick)
ER-C. Skeens 1 run (Skeens kick)
G-Hackney 13 run (Mutter kick)
G-Travis 19 run (Mutter kick)
ER-Fields 6 run (Skeens kick)
G-Ellis 72 pass from Billiter (Mutter kick)
G-Travis 43 run (kick failed)
First Downs: ER 8, G 15; Rushes-Yards: ER 45-187, G 45-284; Passing Yards: ER 30, G 95; Comp-Att-Int: ER 1-6-2, G 3-5-0; Fumbles-Lost: ER 5-3, G 3-1; Penalties-Yards: ER 2-25, G 6-50. Punts-Average: ER 3-35.7, G 3-16.3.