Pirates drag down Grizzlies

Charlie Hall says he can't remember Ashland High ever losing a football game to Phoenix.

But neither the Grizzlies' coach nor his team will forget Friday night's stinging loss any time soon.

Phoenix running back Matt Lapat scored his third touchdown on a 17-yard reception with 36 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, then rushed in for the 2-point conversion to give the Pirates a 22-21 win in front of their home crowd at Jack Woodward Stadium.

"That was disappointing," Hall said. "You have to give them credit, though. They had a great game plan, they were focused and they just wanted this game more than we did."

The Grizzlies took the lead with just over three minutes to go on what looked to be a defining game-winning drive for quarterback Jake Scarminach. The junior orchestrated a nine-play, 73-yard march up the field which he capped with a 20-yard keeper up the middle that gave Ashland a seven-point advantage.

But Phoenix's Chris Kammel dumped the ball off to Lapat for a 32-yard gain that brought the Pirates to Ashland's 18-yard line, and scored a few snaps later on a similar play.

"We can't come out and play mediocre then just hope that things change over the course of the game," Hall said. "They did a lot to keep us at bay on offense, though, and then they made the big plays when it counted."

Lapats's other two scores came on the ground, where he rushed for 71 yards on 11 attempts.

The Grizzlies were shutout until 32 seconds remained in the first half. Following a Lee Dodds interception, Scarminach pitched it to Nick Hall who found a streaking Lucas Stone for an untouched, 56-yard touchdown reception to give Ashland a 7-6 edge.

"That trick play was nice, but that's certainly not how you want to make a living with the ball," Hall added. "We still haven't found a rhythm offensively, which is frustrating because we've invested a lot of time trying to do so."

Stone finished with 131 receiving yards, while Scarmincah was 9-for-16 for 141 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

Joe Maulsby matched Dodds with a team-high six tackles, including three tackles for losses and a sack.

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