Granite Bay shellacks Cosumnes Oaks in Ernie Cooper’s return

By: Keith Jouganatos■for the Press Tribune
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Many in attendance around Grizzly Stadium Friday wondered just how coach Ernie Cooper's Granite Bay High football team would fair on offense in their season opener against Cosumnes Oaks.

They didn’t have long to ponder.

Senior tailback Lucas Baiocchi broke free up the middle on the fourth play of the opening drive for a 45-yard touchdown run.

Granite Bay went on to defeat Cosumnes Oaks 40-7 in a game that saw the Grizzlies make big plays on both sides of the ball.

Baiocchi, along with Grizzlies runners Ren Orlando, and Ben Smith accounted for a backfield that produced three touchdowns in the victory.

Senior quarterback Justin Yeaton connected with senior tight end Will Stabbert for two touchdowns through the air, one a 15-yard post route and the other a bubble screen that went for a 40-yard score.

“It all started with the offensive line, and then Justin being able to get the ball to me,” Stabbert said. “We just came out here to make a statement, and to show we still are a great football team and can compete with the best of them."

It wasn't just the Grizzlies offense that made a statement in the victory, as their defense forced four turnovers, as well as stopping Cosumnes Oaks on downs early in the third quarter at the Granite bay goal line.

Senior defensive backs Cedric Johnson and Tre Ball were responsible for interceptions, with Ball returning his for a touchdown that made the contest 33-0.

“We rallied really well at certain parts and came together tonight,” senior captain, linebacker Cameron Smith said. “Monday we have to come out in practice with the same mentality and can't get comfortable.”

Through just three quarters Granite Bay racked up over ten penalties.

Coach Cooper said it felt good to play hard and earn a good victory on opening night.

"We played like Granite Bay High School plays,” Cooper said. “I thought we had good senior leadership and we challenged each other last night in the final team meeting to play up to our expectations.”

“We had a lot of penalties but we'll work on that. Sometimes you get those kinds of things in the first game in anticipation of playing.”

Granite Bay (1-0) will travel next week to Oakley, where they will take on Freedom.

Follow Keith Jouganatos on Twitter @ KeithJouganatos