Big play Grizzlies bury Bulldogs

Teddy Bryant's five TD tosses too much for Vacaville
By: Kurt Johnson
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The Granite Bay High School football team took the opening kickoff and marched 80 yards in 11 plays for an early seven-point lead over Vacaville on Friday night in Granite Bay. The Grizzlies spent the rest of the night running up and down the field, breaking off huge chunks of yardage as they crushed Vacaville 68-10. Senior quarterback Teddy Bryant put up amazing numbers for Granite Bay, especially considering that his night came to an end after just one second-half offensive play. The Grizzlies’ triggerman threw four touchdown passes in the first half, and topped off his night with a 19-yard scoring toss on Granite Bay’s opening offensive play after intermission. “Teddy throws a great ball,” Granite Bay coach Ernie Cooper said. “Our guys are really just catching up to Teddy’s football. He is a really good one, the leader of an outstanding group of seniors on our team.” For the night, Bryant completed eight of 15 passes for 206 yards including the five scoring throws thrown to five different receivers. A 21-yard scoring strike from Bryant to senior running back Brad Crisanty capped the initial Granite Bay drive. After the defense forced a punt, Bryant struck quickly, finding wide receiver Austin Nash for a 59-yard catch and run touchdown on a third down play with 25 yards needed to pick up the first down. Midway through the second quarter, a 33-yard scamper by junior running back Matt Kine set up a five-yard scoring burst by fullback Clark Partridge, and the route was on at 21-3. Vacaville got a little bit of life on its next possession, finally finding the end zone on the back of the running of junior Jimmy Hines with just 3:07 remaining before halftime, but the Grizzlies answered quickly, scoring three times in those three minutes. Junior Devaunte Bolton picked up a short kickoff and weaved his way through the Bulldogs’ coverage team for a 65-yard touchdown run. After a quick three and out Vacaville possession, Granite Bay used the big play to strike on its first play. AJ Herlitz was the target for Bryant’s third touchdown toss, with this play covering 45 yards to increase the advantage to 34-10. The Grizzlies got the ball back one more time with just over one minute to play, and after being stopped on three plays, were forced to punt the ball away. The Bulldogs’ return man, however, muffed the kick, and it was recovered by Granite Bay’s Josh Hilburn to set up a 32-yard Bryant to Ian Rhodes scoring connection just before the break. Leading 41-10 coming out for the second half, Cooper challenged his squad to maintain their level of play for the final 24 minutes. “We had not played a complete game in either of our first two contests,” Cooper said. “Tonight we struggled a bit with penalties, but we put together a complete game. Our second and third units matched the intensity level as well.” After forcing an early Vacaville punt, Bryant hit Corey Vanderbeek with a 19-yard scoring strike to put the Grizzlies up 48-10 and end the night for the first team. Vanderbeek and Ryan Loder led a phenomenal defensive effort for the Grizzlies before yielding to the reserves to close things out. Granite Bay’s second team offense continued to move the ball, as the Grizzlies got late touchdowns on a 6-yard Bolton run, a 13-yard scamper by Kenny Desjardin, and a 5-yard Travis Nicholas scoring run. The dominating performance sets the stage for Granite Bay’s road trip next weekend when the Grizzlies travel to San Diego to take on the Point Loma Pointers. Cooper heads out on the road with a great group of players, who play well together. “These kids have done a lot of winning,” Cooper added. “Our seniors have won the league every year at each level at which they have competed, as have our juniors. They are a savvy group that knows how to play the game.”