Gutty Grizzles run past Bulldogs

Granite Bay defense puts clamps on high-scoring Vacaville
By: Kurt Johnson, The Press Tribune
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In a game that got off to a late start after the JV team bus broke down on the way to Vacaville, the Granite Bay High varsity football team wasted no time getting into the flow Friday night. A 78-yard trap play on the first play of the game sprung running back Devaunte Bolton for a touchdown and set the tone for a 31-13 win over Vacaville. “Sometimes that quick score is the kiss of death and it may have been tonight as our offense was terrible the rest of the first half,” said Granite Bay coach Ernie Cooper. Fortunately, Cooper’s Grizzlies got it revved up again and picked up their first-ever win on the road at Vacaville. The team was 0-2 in prior visits. After Granite Bay missed the PAT, the Bulldogs scored a touchdown to take a 7-6 advantage, but a Brendan Keeney to Tanner Holt scoring strike that covered 19 yards put the Grizzlies back on top 12-7. Vacaville kicked a field goal before intermission and another just after the break to take a 13-12 lead, but that would be its last hurrah. Down by that count heading into the final stanza, Granite Bay scored on a 20-yard Keeney to Clay Sears toss to jump back on top 18-13. Sears got extended playing time on this night as senior wideout Ian Rhodes did not make the trip due to illness, and he left the contest after taking a big hit early on only to return to haul in this huge pass. “This was a gutty, gutty performance,” Cooper said. “We had couple of guys leave the game with injuries and then come back to make plays for us, as we were already short-handed.” Two more Bolton scoring runs - a 3-yard burst and then a 73-yard scamper that put the icing on the cake – put Vacaville away for the night as the Granite Bay defense held strong against a team that had scored more than 50 points in each of its first two contests. “Our defense played phenomenal tonight,” Cooper said. “Vacaville scored 58 in its first game and then 57 last week, so this was a great performance. Our defense was on the field quite a bit as we had a bunch of three-and-outs tonight and they were outstanding.” Next up for Granite Bay (3-0) is a visit from Point Loma of San Diego, a team that was 3-0 heading into action Friday.