CIF Football Playoffs 2022

After reporting this game, Brendan Alders analyzes the team’s performance and mindset during this high-scoring game.

The final score would end up being 48-51 with the Grizzlies losing by just a field goal.

Andrew Goozen

The final score would end up being 48-51 with the Grizzlies losing by just a field goal.

After a mediocre first half performance by the Granite Bay High School varsity football team, they looked like a whole new team in the second half.

On Nov. 11, 2022, GBHS played Manteca High School in a varsity football playoff game that ended with nearly 100 points combined. 

In the first quarter, the Grizzlies were down 7-21, and going into halftime, the score would be 7-29. It looked like the Grizzlies were losing, and there was no hope for a comeback.  Yet, the final score would end up being 48-51 with the Grizzlies losing by just a field goal.

Aside from the score, the stats for this game made it look even crazier than it was.  GBHS quarterback Mccade Long threw for 336 yards, four touchdowns and completed 17 out of 25 attempted throws.  I could tell that the Grizzlies tried to throw a lot more passes rather than stick to their reliable run game, which had a total of 141 rushing yards.  

On the other side of the field, Manteca’s quarterback Hudson Wyatt threw for just 116 yards, with 3 touchdowns and completing 6 out of 7 attempted throws.  However, most of the Buffaloes’ explosive offense wasn’t coming from their quarterback; it was coming from their run game.

In total, the Buffaloes had 336 rushing yards as a team, but leading the way for the Buffaloes rushing offense was Blake Nichelson.  Nichelson had 218 yards rushing on 31 carries with 4 touchdowns, which means one player on the Buffaloes beat the Grizzlies entire rushing offense combined.  

After looking at the offensive stats, it makes both defenses look like they didn’t play very well.  But that isn’t the case.  Both defenses were stopping each of the offenses; towards the end of the game the Grizzlies’ defense stopped the Buffaloes on 3rd down, causing them to punt.  After the punt, the offense went down the field and scored a crucial touchdown.  Then, after looking at the stats on defense, Frank Cusano led the way with 14 total tackles and one tackle for loss.  In all, Granite Bay’s defense combined for 99 tackles.

The Grizzlies put up a great fight after it looking like there was no hope at the beginning.  But you can’t expect to win a game when one player has over 200 yards rushing and being down three touchdowns at halftime.  

While I was reporting for this game, I could tell that the team morale and the energy showed more in the second half than the first.  Being down by so much early in the game helped give them a chip on their shoulder to show that they don’t go down easy, and they have a chance in this game. 

They even recovered an onside kick late in the 4th quarter, but it was unfortunately ruled no good because it didn’t go enough yards and then the Buffaloes ran out the clock.

The team morale and the energy showed more in the second half than the first. Being down by so much early in the game helped give them a chip on their shoulder to show that they don’t go down easy, and they have a chance in this game. ”

— Brendan Alders

Although the season ended in a loss, we wouldn’t have gotten to this stage in the playoffs if it weren’t for previous victories, like the one against Del Oro High School on Nov. 18 that ended in a 27-16 Grizzly victory or the one in the regular season where DOHS beat GBHS 21-10.  The Grizzlies used the 21-10 loss as fuel in the playoff game in addition to the bitter rivalry that fuels both sides

This was more of a defense oriented game; it wasn’t even as near as high scoring as the game against Manteca.  But there was still a lot of game defining offensive plays that determined the outcome of this game.

Although Granite Bay’s quarterback Mccade Long threw for just 96 yards, he had 2 touchdown passes that proved to be important.  Long made a big throw late in the second quarter that led to a touchdown that helped put the Grizzlies up 21-10 going into the 3rd quarter.

From then on it was a defensive battle between both teams.  No one scored in the 3rd quarter but a big part of that is Granite Bay’s defense making clutch stoppages and forcing Del Oro to punt.  But Granite Bay’s defense couldn’t sack Del Oro’s quarterback Caden Pinnick.  Pinnick kept avoiding sacks and leaving the pocket to rush for yards, which proved to be successful in keeping their offensive drives alive.

After a scoreless 3rd quarter, the 4th proved to have a late offensive push from Del Oro.  They would score one touchdown making the score 21-16 and would have a chance to win the game.  

But in the final seconds of the 4th quarter as Del Oro was going for one final offensive drive the Eagles fumbled the ball and Granite Bay recovered, resulting in a touchdown and the Grizzlies winning 27-16.

In the end I can say that the Grizzlies fought hard to get where they did in the playoffs and we can only expect to see more of this success next year.