Another second half push leads Grizzlies to second win of the season

Two late rushing touchdowns seals the deal for Granite Bay

After a delayed start time due to the extreme heat in the greater Sacramento area, Friday night’s contest between the Granite Bay Grizzlies and Whitney Wildcats was ready to begin as the sun set.

Coming off a strong home win against Jesuit last week, the Grizzlies played at Whitney for their first road game of the year.

Whitney moved the ball well in the air all night and had some promising drives early in the game, but a missed field goal and an interception by Grizzlies defensive back Jacob Ellis held the Wildcats to only seven points in the first half.

A slow offensive start for the Grizzlies was defined by a fumble in the first quarter and an inability to convert on some crucial third downs.  

Both teams showed stingy defense when needed most. In the first half alone, the Grizzlies were held to only a field goal and the Wildcats only had one scoring play, leaving them with a 7-3 lead going into halftime.

“We need to stop playing down to their level,” senior and team captain Evan Tattersall said at the half.  “We’re a way better team.”

Frustrated by the lackadaisical start, Tattersall said the team was doing “terrible” up until that point and “needed to be more physical.”

“I think we’ll get it figured out,” Tattersall said, “we always do.”    

Tattersall’s words had some resonance. As the second half began, defensive back Ryan Fina intercepted a Wildcat pass attempt to give the Grizzlies possession.

“It really switched the momentum of the game,” Fina said. “We secured the bag and got the win.”

As the game crawled later into the evening, a huge pass breakup in the red zone by defensive back Nolan Stabbert would keep momentum on the Grizzlies side and prevent the Wildcats from scoring as the game headed into the fourth quarter.

The drama continued as Tattersall scored a 60 yard touchdown to tie the game up at 10 late in the fourth.

A rushing touchdown by Tattersall would give Granite Bay the lead with only a few minutes left in the game. Another rushing touchdown by running back Jordan Osby would be the cherry on top for the Grizzlies, ultimately giving them the 24-10 win.      

“First half we had a lot of mistakes, a lot of missed assignments,” junior Matt Solone said. “In the second half we came out as a band of brothers. We picked up what we didn’t get to do in the first half, and really wreaked some havoc on this field.”

Granite Bay moves to 2-0 on the year and Whitney falls to 1-1. Granite Bay remains at number two in The Bee’s Top 20, and Whitney stays at 15.