MILLBURY, Mass. — Using a smothering defense and a tough, physical running game the Grafton Indians finally slew the Millbury Woolies, 37-6, ending a 12-year drought in football.
“There goes 12 years of frustration out there on the field,” Grafton head coach Mike Ross said. “We played Grafton football — that’s who we are."
Grafton won’t win many style points with its double-wing offense. But it is a big, talented, physically dominating team on both sides of the ball. It plays an intense, in-your-face style of smash-mouth football that is tough to defend.
The Indians wasted little time in asserting their dominance. On the second play from scrimmage, Cody Munoz burst around the left side on a sweep with a huge hole and ran untouched 61 yards for a touchdown.
It was indicative of how the rest of the game played out. Grafton smashed the ball mostly in the interior of the line between the tackles and asserted its will on both sides of the line. Millbury didn't gain a first down until late in the third quarter.
Grafton was more methodical on its second possession, grinding the ball down the field in chunks until Munoz powered over from the 3-yard line for his second of three touchdowns of the first half, making it 13-0.
After pinning Millbury deep in its own territory with a 63-yard punt, the Indians forced the Woolies to punt from their end zone. The shanked punt left them with excellent field position at the 24-yard line. Grafton wasted little time as Dillon O”Brien scored a 6-yard touchdown, and the two-point conversion made it 21-0.
With a little more than a minute left in the half, Grafton quarterback Doug Oevermann found big tight end Connor Rynning down the seam for a huge gain. Munoz burst around right end for a 13-yard touchdown with 18.9 seconds remaining in the half to go up, 27-0.
Grafton added a John Coughlin 1-yard touchdown and a field goal in the second half. The Woolies finally scored a with 1-yard Randy Mogren touchdown in the last minute against Grafton’s subs.
“They’re a good, tough team,” Millbury coach Ray Richards said of Grafton. “I told the kids, they outplayed us. It wasn’t effort or preparation on our part, we just got beat by the better team today.”
Grafton (8-3) plays in the first round of the playoffs at home Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. Millbury (5-6) may still qualify for a playoff berth, pending the outcome of other games.