Strong defense last week helped Grapeland get its first win of the 2012 season and the Sandies' first in their last seven tries against rival Lovelady.

“We played real good defensively last week,” said Grapeland coach Jerry Richards. “I thought we played much better than the week before (against Trinity)."

Richards said defensive players Blake Edwards, Daniel Vasquez, and Demteri Walker stood out in the team's 24-22 come-from-behind win against Lovelady. Edwards, a defensive lineman, finished the night with two tackles, while linebacker Vasquez chipped in with five tackles and half a sack. Walker, a defensive back who leads the Sandies with 23 tackles this season, had a team-high seven tackles against Lovelady.

Athlete Patrick Walker shined for the Sandies on the offensive side of the ball. Playing quarterback, Walker rushed for 122 yards on 24 carries while going 6 of 8 passing for 126 yards.

“Patrick is a player,” Richards said. “We can line him up anywhere and he will make things happen.”

Grapeland plays another rival at 7:30 p.m. Friday when the Sandies host Elkhart. Beating the Elks and their standout tailback won't be an easy task, Richards said.

“Beating your county rival will help keep momentum going for another rival this week," Richards said. "They've got a really good running back. Probably the best running back we will face this year. (Elkhart's) Jeffrey Wilson was a 1,000-yard rusher last year as a sophomore so he’s going to be a big challenge for us.”

Here's a preview of Friday's Elkhart at Grapeland matchup:

 

ELKHART ELKS (0-3)
VS.
GRAPELAND SANDIES (1-2)

7:30 p.m. Friday
Grapeland Sandies Stadium, Grapeland

Coaches
Elkhart: Sam Wells
Grapeland: Jerry Richards

Last week
Elkhart: lost to Centerville, 44-6
Grapeland: defeated Lovelady, 24-22

Next week
Elkhart: vs. Joaquin
Grapeland: vs. Jewett Leon

Playmakers
Elkhart

  • RB Jeffrey Wilson, Jr., 6-0, 185 (71 carries, 495 yards, 4 TD; 8 returns, 209 yards, 1 TD)
  • QB Cole Bridges, Sr., 5-8, 150
  • WR Jacob Cheatham, Sr., 6-0, 175
  • DL Rodrick Arceneaux, Sr., 5-11, 210

Grapeland

  • ATH Patrick Walker (13 of 25, 251 yards, 3 TD; 63 carries, 273 yards)
  • RB/DB Demetri Walker (30 carries, 129 yards, 1 TD; 3 catches, 32 yards, 1 TD; 23 tackles)
  • LB Hunter Collins (14 tackles)
  • WR Jacolby Simpson (7 catches, 126 yards, 1 TD)

Did you know? Friday's game is Grapeland's first at home since the Aug. 31 opener against Centerville, which the Sandies lost 47-18.