Ellison scores four TDs in Granite Bay's rout of Woodcreek

Grizzlies clinch tie for SFL championship
By: Robbie Enos
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Whether he was in the backfield or lining up wide, running a sweep or a streak route, whether it was left or right or on special teams or offense … he was everywhere.

Speed demon Tony Ellison scored four touchdowns, two on the ground and two through the air, to lead Granite Bay High School to a 48-13 Sierra Foothill League win over host Woodcreek on Friday night.

“He’s a talent,” Grizzlies head coach Ernie Cooper said. “He’s got that wiggle that you can’t coach. A rarity, three-sport athlete, basketball and track. We tell these guys about track, and Tony’s out there busting his fanny every spring. He’s got some juice. He was the best player out on the field tonight, there was no doubt about it.”

Ellison had 107 yards rushing and 50 yards receiving. He attacked primarily from the fly back position — the player on offense who motions side to side before each play. Ellison was most effective on the sweep, and he ran streak patterns to catch two touchdown passes.

Quarterback Grant Caraway lofted deep passes that allowed Ellison to go up for the reception rebound-style. Ellison also had a 64-yard punt return that led to another Granite Bay (6-3 overall, 4-0 SFL) touchdown.

“We just ran hard and executed our plays,” Ellison said. “Keep it simple, not do anything out of the ordinary.”

Things were actually looking up for Woodcreek (2-7, 0-4) in the first quarter. Granite Bay fumbled on its opening possession, and the Timberwolves responded with a monstrous 20-play drive that took up most of the first quarter and ended on the first play of the second quarter, when Stephen Nogosek connected with Jason Moore for the first touchdown.

“Kudos to coach (John) Hildebrand,” Cooper said. “He does a good job against us. His offensive schemes are always outstanding. They got into their mode on offense.”

But then, the Grizzlies came alive. Granite Bay assembled an 11-play touchdown drive on the ensuing possession. On a later Woodcreek drive, sophomore Cameron Smith intercepted a Stephen Nogosek pass in Woodcreek territory. It would result in Ellison’s first touchdown, a 22-yard reception.

“After they scored, it kind of woke us up a little bit,” Cooper said. “Our offense answered for us. I was very happy. When we answered on that next drive, I thought, ‘OK, we’re gonna be OK tonight.’ ”

Grizzlies running back Johnny Cooley carried 16 times for 111 yards and sandwiched two touchdowns around Ellison’s four scores.

Granite Bay clinched a tie for the SFL title and will finish the regular season at Nevada Union next week. Woodcreek hopes to achieve its first league win over Roseville in a season finale.

“I’m not worried about our guys finishing the season strong,” Hildebrand said. “They’ll finish strong. It’s a good group. We’re gonna have a great week of preparation, and we’ll go into our last game with a lot of pride.”


JV Game


Granite Bay 32, Woodcreek 25 — Woodcreek pulled to within one in the fourth quarter, but Granite Bay answered with a late touchdown to ensure a victory.

The Granite Bay freshman team won 41-13.