LAURENS - Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire's Titans almost became their own worst enemy as penalties played a big role in a 36-8 loss to the Chargers of Laurens-Marathon on Friday night. The loss leaves the Titans still looking for the elusive first victory of the season with a 0-3 overall mark and 0-1 mark in Eight Man District Two.
But, the challenge gets no easier this Friday night ast the Titans will renew their old in-county rivalry with the Wolverines of West Bend-Mallard/Gilmore City-Bradgate in a contest that will be played in Graettinger.
In Friday's contest at Laurens, the Titans found penalties caused by their own miscues to be almost as much of a problem as the Chargers.
Graettinger-Terril/ Ruthven-Ayrshire would be whistled for 10 infractions on the night, hacking 92 yards out of the Titans' offensive production and costing the purple and black a touchdown before halftime.
While the Titans were trying to sort out penalties and miscues, the Chargers of Laurens-Marathon were putting points on the scoreboard. The Chargers would strike first, putting six points on the scoreboard with 5:54 to go in the first quarter and added a two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Laurens-Marathon would pick up a score early in the second frame as they struck again with 9:09 to go in the half off a one-yard run and again added a two-point conversion for a 16-0 lead. Then, with just under 2:00 to go in the half, the Chargers scored off a 15-yard run. The deuce conversion gave the host Chargers a 24-0 lead ast the Titans went into the intermission trying to set their offense.
But the second half would not hold any great advantage for the Titans. Laurens-Marathon would grab another score with 7:20 to go in the third quarter, A three-yard touchdown would make the score 30-0 after the extra point attempt failed.
But, Graettinger-Terril/ Ruthven-Ayrshire wasn't ready to concede anything. On the resulting kickoff, the Titans found their offense. The Titans fielded the kick in good field position and under the guidance of quarterback Blaze Alesch, worked their way downfield until with 5:43 to go in the third frame, Alesch tucked the ball in and with some good blocks at the line, picked his way 16-yards to find the endzone for the touchdown.
Alesch would keep the ball on the conversion play to make the score 30-8 when the third quarter ended.
With some hope of adding to their total, the Titans were dashed when Laurens-Marathon would break a 52-yard pass play for a touchdown. The conversion attempt would fail and time would run out in the 36-8 final tally and setback for the Titans.
The Titan offense was able to generate 120 yards of offense on the ground off 26 rushing plays. Carter Williamson made eight carries for 73 yards, while Blaze Alesch carried the ball 15 times to gain 55 yards. Alex Hoffman added two carries for 10 yards in the effort.
In the air, Blaze Alesch completed seven of 15 passing attempts for a total of 86 years. Garrett Parker would make four catches for 77 yards, with Carter Williamson adding a pair of receptions for nine yards.
Mason McGrauth made two kickoffs for 21 yards, while Blaze Alesch returned two kicksoffs for 27 yards. Alesch would also punt the ball four times in the game for a total of 198 yards, averaging 49 yards per punt.
Defensively, Mason McGrauth would intercept a Laurens-Marathon pass and added four tackles to the Titans' efforts. Carter Williamson made 13 tackles on the night, while Matt McGrauth added 10 stops to the tally. Blaze Alesch would make 14 tackles on the night and Cody Thompson added five tackles to the effort and Zach Chicoine made two quarterback sacks.
As a team, the Titans lost one fumble in the contest.
Laurens-Marathon would run 40 rushing plays to gain 206 yards, and completed four of six passes for 103 yards with one interception in the contest.