Strong defense pushes Grizzlies to fifth straight win

Tattersall and company pick up big victory on the road

  Crisp air covered the Loomis backcountry on the first evening of fall, but a bitter rivalry between two football powerhouses was only heating up.

  With a packed stadium, a boisterous crowd and bragging rights on the line, there was no better place to be Friday night than Del Oro High School.

  Granite Bay looked to keep its successful start going, but the Golden Eagles were showing no signs of rolling over – the Honor Bowl was underway.

Logan Embree
Vietnam Veterans honored in ceremonies before kickoff.

   The two teams are known for their relentless defenses, and that has set the foundation for this 19-year rivalry.

  The first 11 drives of the contest were nothing but offensive mishaps and defensive stands, resulting in only 7 points scored during the entire first half.

  “They played lights out, they’re tough,” GBHS head coach Jeff Evans said of his defense.

  Highlighted by a blocked punt, forced fumbles, interceptions and sacks, no yard came easy for either offense early in the game.  

  “Del Oro is a great team and they are going to get some plays, but they kept them out of the end zone when they needed,” Evans said of the Grizzly defense. “They made big plays – without them we are in deep trouble tonight.”

  The defensive unit of Del Oro was near perfect through 20-plus minutes of play, but there was no offensive push to back it up.

  “In the first half we didn’t come out how we wanted to,” said Brice Edwards, a running back for Del Oro.   

  As the game crawled deeper into the night, neither team had the edge until the third quarter.

  Sixty quick passing yards from GB quarterback Jade Foddrill, highlighted by a 35-yard bomb to flyback Blake Peterson, would give the Grizzlies first and goal on the 1 yard line.

  It was all 6-foot-3, 225 pounds of future University of California back Evan Tattersall from there on out.

Logan Embree
Senior Evan Tattersall breaks through Del Oro defenders for a first down.

  Tattersall bulldozed his way toward two short touchdown runs of 2 and 5 yards, racking up nearly all of the team’s red zone carries.  

  However a missed PAT from the Grizzlies and a 30-yard touchdown pass from Del Oro proved that things were only starting to get interesting headed into the fourth quarter.

  Chants were hurled back and forth all game from both student sections, but none were heard louder than those late in the game.

  An unprecedented third goal-line touchdown by Tattersall would boost the Grizzlies’ momentum as the clock wound down.

  With under two minutes left in the game, Granite Bay led by a score of 21-14 and sat one yard shy of a first down.

  Foddrill found a seam on a quarterback option and after picking up the first down, he was off to the races.

  The 70-yard touchdown would put the Grizzlies up by 14 points and, after another quick score by Del Oro, GBHS recovered an attempted onside kick to lock up the victory.

  “We are trying to put together a season that people will remember,” coach Evans said. “Especially coming off of last season, we had a lot of bills to pay. We had a lot of people that we had to try to show to ourselves that we could get back at.

  “Beating Del Oro anytime is huge. Beating them in a league game where we’re all on a run for a championship, is monstrous.”

  Granite Bay now ranks number two in the region (5-0) and faces No. 1-ranked Folsom (5-0) next Friday at home.

  Del Oro now ranks fifth in the region (3-2) and plays at home next week against Nevada Union (2-3).

  “For Folsom, we’re just going to start game planning,” Foddrill said. “We are going to play our game how we know how to play it – Folsom has something coming for them.” 

Staff Writer Abbie Gould provided additional reporting for this story.