Keeping the offense of the Granville High School football team off the field is one thing. Stopping the Blue Aces is another story altogether.

Keeping the offense of the Granville High School football team off the field is one thing. Stopping the Blue Aces is another story altogether.

Johnstown-Monroe limited visiting Granville to 14 plays in the first half to 35 of its own, but still trailed by 11 points last Friday. The Blue Aces added to that lead on the first possession of the third quarter and held off the host Johnnies for a 35-23 win in the opener for both teams.

"(The Blue Aces are) a very good team, and they did what they do well," Johnstown coach Mike Carter said. "We had some breakdowns and that is something we can work on, things we can get better at. They are some things we can fix."

The Johnnies took a 3-0 lead on a Patrick Benton 24-yard field goal on the first possession. But Granville struck with 2 minutes, 7 seconds remaining in the first quarter on a 90-yard punt return by Adam Alderman.

"We didn't have the ball a lot, but we made the most of when we had it," Granville coach Mike Hensley said. "I'm sure they wanted to run the ball like that and keep us off the field, and they did that. When you play Johnstown, you can expect them to run the ball well and try to control the clock."

Johnstown ran 54 times for 203 yards as Brad Couts led the way with 153 yards on 23 carries, including a 39-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Jay Orders added 83 yards on eight carries with a 6-yard score. Stephen Orr also added a 19-yard touchdown run.

Granville entered the game with a senior all-district quarterback-receiver tandem of Cory Becher and Alderman, but first-year starting running back Tyler Link made his presence known with 108 yards rushing on 18 carries and touchdowns of 1 and 19 yards. He also caught a 71-yard scoring pass from Becher.

"Everyone says we pass all the time, and we do pass a lot, but we got in the spread to run the ball," Hensley said. "People want us to run the ball and we wanted to show we could do that."

Becher completed 13 of 21 passes for 150 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown pass to Gino Ghiloni. Alderman battled cramps much of the second half and finished with four receptions for 36 yards. Ghiloni had four catches for 34 yards.