By Keith Harrington
The Granville-Whitehall football team didn't exactly receive a favorable draw for the first round of Section II Crossover play. Sure, Chatham is a Class D team and Granville-Whitehall plays in Class C North. However, the Panthers are a powerhouse in their division with high expectations when their playoffs begin next week. Throw in the long two-hour trip and the cards were stacked against G-W.
Granville-Whitehall pulled within one score of Chatham late in the game Friday night, but came up a little short, falling 26-20 on the Panthers home field.
Granville-Whitehall entered the night winners of two in a row and three of their last four.
The Panthers jumped out to a 13-0 lead. Tyler Kneller scored on a three-yard run in the first quarter to give Chatham a 7-0 advantage after the extra point kick from Alex Chudy.
Radley took off on a 92-yard scamper in the second quarter to make it 13-0 Panthers. The extra point kick failed.
Later in the second the Granville-Whitehall coaching staff reached into their bag of tricks to give their team a spark. CJ Monty connected with Alex Torres on a halfback option pass to cut the deficit to 13-6. It was the second time this season that particular play has been successful as the duo also teamed up for a score in the Watervliet game.
Granville-Whitehall inched closer before the break on a 3-yard run by Monty to pull within 13-12 with 2:42 to go before halftime.
Chatham once again made it a two-score game in the second half on a pair of touchdown runs from Radley. Radley scored from 44 inthe third and 3 three yards out in the fourth to give the Panthers a 26-12 lead.
RJ Monger hooked up with Nick Crum on an 80-yard scoring pass with 4:33 left in the contest. Monty ran in the two point conversion and Granville-Whitehall was in striking distance.
Chatham was able to hold off G-W the rest of the way.
Chatham is 7-1 and will play in the Class D playoffs next week.
Granville-Whitehall is 3-6 and will wait to learn who their opponent will be in the second crossover game next week.