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Granite Bay defense stuffs Lincoln in playoff rematch

Grizzlies lead 28-0 at halftime
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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GRANITE BAY — They felt they gave away their previous game to Pittsburg, these Granite Bay High School Grizzlies, so they worked hard in practice this week, pushed each other, POd the whole way.

The hard work paid off Friday night with a 42-14 drubbing of Stockton-Lincoln that, five weeks ago, no one could claim to have seen coming, not this rematch of a 2011 Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinal, won by Granite Bay 28-21 in Stockton.

“We played very well,” Grizzlies head coach Ernie Cooper said. “We worked hard this week. We pushed each other.”

Lincoln running back Justin Davis, a USC verbal commit who rushed for 223 yards and scored all three Trojans touchdowns in that game, had minus-4 yards Friday night in 14 carries. Lincoln (2-3) was an obvious media favorite to make deep playoff noise in the southern portion of the section this season, but Davis’ numbers again showed the effect an inexperienced line can have, even for a skilled running back bound for Running Back U.

Davis was swarmed by Granite Bay seniors Tyler Arneson, J.R. Calton, Beau Hershberger, sophomore Cameron Smith and others throughout the game.

“We knew he was a good player,” said Arneson, who also had two of Granite Bay’s three sacks of quarterback Zack Greenlee in the first half. “Really, it’s just everyone filling their gaps. It was a collective effort. We have a veteran defensive line. We have three starters back. Our experience helped us a lot.”

Granite Bay (2-3) held Lincoln to 41 yards rushing and 192 total yards. Marquis Grace rushed for 44 yards on the Trojans’ final possession.

Grizzlies head coach Ernie Cooper said the scout team did a good job emulating Davis in practice during the week, notably Michael Geraghty, Jack Dockham and Zach Pickett.

Meanwhile, Granite Bay had 383 total yards — 200 passing and 183 rushing. Junior Tony Ellison had 236 total yards with 93 receiving on seven catches, 54 rushing in seven carries and 89 yards in punt and kick returns. He scored on a 17-yard pass from Grant Caraway and a two-yard run. Johnny Cooley rushed for 82 yards in 18 carries and scored on two two-yard runs.

Caraway had his best game yet by completing 17 of 19 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns. The second was a 14-yarder to Ty Serna with 6.1 seconds left in the first half on homecoming night. Caraway completed his first seven passes and was 5 for 6 on the final drive of the first half, which went 73yards in nine plays.

“I’m not surprised,” Cooper said of Caraway’s performance. “He works hard in practice.”

The last touchdown of the first half, which gave the Grizzlies a 28-0 lead, was a 14-yarder to Ty Serna, who ran an in-and-out pattern called “Sluggo” to the left corner of the end zone.

JV game — Granite Bay pulled within 27-26 on a seven-yard touchdown pass with 13.5 seconds left but missed the two-point conversion attempt.

GRANITE BAY 42, STOCKTON-LINCOLN 14

Lincoln          0     0   8   6 — 14
Granite Bay   7   21   7   7 — 42

GB — Cooley 2 run (Brown kick)
GB — Partridge 13 run (Brown kick)
GB — Ellison 17 pass from Caraway (Brown kick)
GB — Serna 14 pass from Caraway (Brown kick)
GB — Ellison 2 run (Brown kick)
Linc — Tuovao 4 pass from Greenlee (Washington pass from Greenlee)
GB — Cooley 2 run (Brown kick)
Linc — Alexander 4 run (run failed)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Lincoln, Davis 14-minus 4, Grace 7-44, Alexander 2-5, Greenlee 2-minus 4. Granite Bay, Cooley 18-82, Ellison 7-54, Partridge 5-25, Geraghty 3-12, Towery 2-11, York 1-7, Ellinwood 1-7, Caraway 1-1, Neal 1-0.

PASSING — Lincoln, Greenlee 12-30-0, 151. Granite Bay, Caraway 17-19-0, 193; Neal 1-1-0, 7.

RECEIVING — Lincoln, Washington 5-88, Alexander 3-31, Davis 2-10, Rucker 1-18, Tuovao 1-4.