SPORTS HEADLINES

Graham knocks out Decatur; Tough outing for Eagles in final tune-up

By Clay Corbett | Published Saturday, August 24, 2013

The eighth-ranked Graham Steers proved why they deserve the state recognition Thursday at Eagle Stadium.

In the first phase of the scrimmage with the first and second teams, Graham blanked Decatur 5-0.

Decatur didn’t fare much better in the live quarter, losing 14-0.

Roll With the Punches

ROLL WITH THE PUNCHES – Decatur’s Matt Cedrone loses his helmet while staying with the block Thursday against Graham. The Eagles open the regular season next week at Trinity Christian. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“They played faster, more physical, and aggressive than we did,” Decatur head coach Kyle Story said. “They executed offensively and were crisp and sharp.

“We didn’t slow them down much, and we didn’t move it much. We’ve got a lot of room for improvement.”

The Steers took only two plays to put up their first touchdown of the night on a 60-yard run.

Their next possession went six plays, capped off by a six-yard run.

Graham added one more score in their first series, on a 31-yard touchdown pass.

A lot of missed tackles cost the Eagles throughout the scrimmage.

“The tackling is key,” Story said. “We didn’t tackle physically and get them to the ground. We left some holes for them to throw the ball, and we didn’t get any pressure on the quarterback.”

Decatur’s first team offense picked up a couple of first downs, but was unable to sustain any drives against the Graham defense.

Starting quarterback Grayson Muehlstein finished the night 10-for-19 for 60 yards.

Decatur’s second-team defense made a couple of nice stops. Cole Vaughn had an interception and a fumble recovery.

The first teams finished off the scrimmage with one live quarter.

Decatur’s initial drive ended on downs and the Steers took advantage, going 56 yards in seven plays before scoring on a three-yard run.

After a Decatur punt, Graham struck again. The Steers went 65 yards in 11 plays, capping the drive again with a three-yard dive into paydirt.

With 1:36 remaining, the Eagles got the ball back again, but time ran out on the offense.

“This test shows us the level we’ve got to get to, and we’re not there yet,” Story said. “We’ve got to step it up a notch for sure.”

Decatur opens the regular season Aug. 30 at Trinity Christian in Addison.

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