Folsom’s strong offense outlasts Granite Bay

The Grizzlies suffer their first loss of the season

  It was a battle of the heavyweights on Friday night between No. 1- ranked Folsom and No. 2- ranked Granite Bay.

  It was a  game that would draw the attention of nearly all the local TV news stations and thousands of avid high school football fans – even the Sacramento Kings’ first-round draft pick De’Aaron Fox was in attendance.

  Coming off of a strong showing on the road against Del Oro, the Grizzlies looked to remain undefeated as they played in arguably their biggest game since winning a state title in 2012.

  Folsom, with an equally impressive start to its season, also headed into the night 5-0.

  After receiving the opening kickoff, Granite Bay marched down the field and Jarad Harper punched in a 14-yard rushing touchdown to give GB an early seven-point lead.

  But it was only a few minutes into the game, and the best offensive attack in the Sac-Joaquin Section was yet to take the field. 

A mightily equipped Grizzly defense would prove to be kryptonite for Folsom throughout the first half. Folsom was held to one score and was stopped on all but one of its fourth-down conversion attempts, a fade pass from quarterback Kaiden Bennett, leaving the Bulldogs a little out of sync as they headed to the locker room.

 “At Folsom we go for it on fourth down,” the Bulldogs’ offensive coordinator Bobby Fresques said. “I think that puts a lot of stress on a defense. We just didn’t get that first stop.

  “We only had three possessions in the first half. (Grizzly quarterback) Jade (Foddril) did a great job running their offense, they had some big catches and sustained some drives – it’s hard to score when the offense is on the sideline.”

  After halftime, however, Folsom’s offense had plenty of fun on the field.

  Highlighted by a 73-yard rushing touchdown by Bennett as well as two passing touchdowns, Folsom was clicking.

  Joe Ngata, a nationally recruited receiver for Folsom, took a reverse 80 yards to the house, catching King’s De’Aaron Fox eye with a tweet midgame saying Ngata was “something different.”

  Granite Bay would only tack on one score the rest of the game, resulting in a 35-14 Folsom victory.

  “Early on, we were playing well and weren’t making mistakes,” Grizzlies coach Jeff Evans said. “We showed what we could do, but then small mistakes – even the smallest mistakes – become a big problem when you’ve got a team like that.”

 Players were banged up on both sides, including Cal-bound GBHS star Evan Tattersall, who left the game late in the fourth quarter with a head injury. Tattersall had his legs swept out from under him and then hit the turf head first. He remained motionless for several minutes before he was removed from the field on a golf cart with trainers supporting his head and neck. 

According to sources on the team who spoke  Saturday morning, Tattersall has been examined by doctors, and school and team officials are running him through the concussion protocol.

Still,  Evans remained optimistic as the team heads into its bye-week.

  “We’re confident. We’re still in the hunt for a league championship,” Evans said. “We just have to keep playing football — we signed up for 10 weeks.”

Additional reporting for this story was done by Gazette staffer Jack McGrail