ELEANOR — The Van Middle School football team suffered its first loss of the 2013 season Thursday evening as they fell to George Washington, 44-38. The Blue Devils are continuing to show they are the team to beat in the Black Diamond Conference, according to Van Coach Ronald Deal.
The Blue Devils jumped out to a 30-16 halftime lead after the first quarter ended in an 8-8 tie.
Van received the second half kick-off and controlled the line of scrimmage during the first drive of the half, chewing up nearly six minutes of clock.
The Bulldogs had a costly penalty, negating a 70-yard run and were stopped on downs deep in GW territory.
The Blue Devils then took a 38-16 lead, scoring on three plays from scrimmage.
Van’s Brady Grant returned the ensuing kick 64 yards for a score to make it 38-22. The Dogs immediately got the ball back with a successful onside kick and drove for another score, cutting the GW lead to eight points.
Each team scored one more touchdown with the game ending at 44-38 in favor of George Washington.
Deal commented, “Our kids played their hearts out. They showed a lot of character by not giving in and coming back from three scores down against a well-coached and talented football team.George Washington deserves the credit for beating us. They were the better football team tonight.”
He continued, “This loss is on me. I didn’t have our kids ready for their skill positions. We will likely see them again on November 2 in the championship game. I told the team we need to get seven points better by then. We will be ready!”
Van’s Grant went over the 1,000 yard rushing mark on the season during the game. Grant picked up 204 yards on 16 carries and led the team with 16 tackles.
Van hopes to bounce back this Thursday evening as they will travel to Oceana.