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Quick-striking Bulldogs top Grizzlies, 63-7

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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Folsom scored three touchdowns in a 21-second span to turn a close 14-7 game against Granite Bay into a 35-7 blowout on their way to a 63-7 victory.

Granite Bay (1-3 in league, 3-5 overall) muffed consecutive short kickoffs, which were recovered by the Bulldogs. On the first play from scrimmage following both turnovers, the Bulldogs scored. In the amount of time it would take to make a trip to the snack bar, the Bulldogs had turned a seven-point lead into 28 points.

“Folsom is good enough without us contributing to it,” Granite Bay coach Jeff Evans said. “We made some mistakes and no one feels worse than those guys, but we kept playing and that’s all we ask them to do. There’s not much that can be said about Folsom that hasn’t already been said. They’re as good of a team that I’ve seen.”

The first possessions from each team proved to be a foreshadowing of what was to come. The Bulldogs (4-0, 7-1)  didn’t run a play in the first half that went for less than 11 yards. On the fourth play of the game, Folsom quarterback Kaiden Bennett (10-of-15, 296 yards, 6 TDs) hooked up with Parker Clayton for 22-yard touchdown pass. After the Grizzlies went three and out, Folsom’s Elijhah Badger electrified the crowd and returned Everett Hayes’ punt 90 yards for a touchdown.

While Folsom scored nine touchdowns on the night, the Grizzlies had trouble moving the ball. The only time they had any success came on their second series, when they moved the ball  66 yards on 15 plays, capping off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run on fourth down by Jacob Ellis. At the end of the first quarter, the Grizzlies only trailed 14-7.

That was about to change.

Joe Ngata (3 catches, 118 yards, 2 TDs) caught a 74-yard TD pass from Bennett with 9:46 to play in the half. After the first muffed kick was recovered by Joey Washburn, Bennett connected with Daniyel Ngata for a 35-yard TD pass. A play after Grant Furrey recovered the second muffed kick, Bennett found Joe Ngata again from 31 yards to make the score 35-7.

Badger scored two more times in the half on a 23-yard pass from Bennett and a 76-yard punt return, as Folsom led 49-7 at halftime.

Folsom scored twice in the second half, another TD pass from Bennett to Badger from 29 yards, and a four-yard run from Jacob Reithmeier.

“We played really well in all three phases,” Folsom coach Kris Richardson said. “Our return game was fantastic. We’ve been holding Elijhah back a bit, but tonight we let him loose. He’s a special return player; he’s very slippery and once he makes that first guy miss, teams are in trouble.”