Impressive outing for Grangers

Published 1:36 am Saturday, May 18, 2019


Daily News

The final score didn’t tell the story.

Hardaway and LaGrange faced off on Thursday in a spring game at Callaway Stadium, and it was the visiting Hawks coming away with a 26-21 victory.

When LaGrange’s main players were on the field, though, it was a different story.

After falling behind 7-0 early in the game, the Grangers stormed back to take a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter.

Only after LaGrange’s prospective starters and second-team players left the field did Hardaway rally, scoring three late touchdowns to get the come-from-behind win.

“We played our starters the first half, and the first drive of the third quarter,” said Chuck Gibbs, LaGrange’s second-year head coach. “And they kept there’s in until eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, and they put their sophomores and juniors in against our (rising) freshmen.”

Gibbs was proud of the way his young players hung in there in a difficult situation.

“It’s good to teach the kids that the score doesn’t define who you are as men,” Gibbs said. “Your alignment, your assignment, your effort, those three things dictate who you are as a player and as a student of the game.”

Gibbs added that “to see freshmen go out and compete with their number two players, that bodes well for our future. You just hope the freshmen don’t get discouraged, because they look at it as a loss.”

Hardaway scored a touchdown on its opening possession, but it didn’t make much happen after that against LaGrange’s starting defense.

“Overall, after that first series, the defense locked in and played Granger defense,” Gibbs said.

LaGrange tied the game with a touchdown late in the first half.

Charles Crawford, a two-year starter at quarterback, found himself under duress after taking the snap, and he rolled to his right and completed a short pass to Logan Karcher, who beat the Hardaway defense for a 71-yard touchdown.

In the third quarter, LaGrange got a 15-yard scoring run from Andre Canty, and Charles Miller returned an interception for a touchdown.

“We ran the ball pretty well, we blocked pretty well,” Gibbs said. “Our quarterback played with tremendous poise.”