Granite Bay drive stalls at Monterey Trail 12
A potential go-ahead drive stalled at the Monterey Trail 12-yard line in the final minute Friday night, and Granite Bay High School’s football season ended with a 22-17 loss to the visiting Mustangs in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinal.
Monterey Trail will return to the Division I final next Friday or Saturday for the second year in a row, this time against top-seeded Pleasant Grove, which blitzed Lodi 61-23 in the other semifinal. Monterey Trail lost to Nevada Union in last season’s final.
Drake Tofi’s 59-yard touchdown run with 5:41 left gave 10th-seeded Monterey Trail (10-3) the lead for good.
The seventh-seeded Grizzlies (9-4) then drove from their 29 to the Monterey Trail 12 in 10 plays and had first down.
Granite Bay junior quarterback Brendan Keeney, who was 20 for 30 passing to that point, threw four incompletions, including attempts to Cory Brehm and Tanner Holt in the end zone. Keeney made good throws, but Monterey Trail had tight coverage on the final four downs.
“They all of a sudden dropped everybody off when it got to be third and nine and then fourth and nine,” Granite Bay coach Ernie Cooper said. “I was kind of kicking myself for not having my draw play ready to go. We were able to run that a few times during the year. I should have had my draw play ready.
“That last drive was a thing of beauty. We executed all the way down the field. And then four plays, we didn’t execute. There it is in a nutshell. That’s why we went over and congratulated them.”
Keeney passed for 200 yards and two scores – a seven-yarder to tight end Matt Kasner and a six-yarder to Holt that gave the Grizzlies a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Grizzlies let Monterey Trail receive the opening kickoff, and cornerback Nate Esposito intercepted Mike Calvan’s tipped pass on third and 13.
Granite Bay scored on its fourth play on Keeney’s pass to Kasner.
Michael Worthen then fumbled after catching a pass on Monterey Trail’s next drive, and Nik Reeves recovered at the Granite Bay 33. The Grizzlies cashed in again, going 65 yards in 10 plays and scoring on Keeney’s lob to Holt over the defense of Delvonte Johnson.
Tofi, who rushed for 261 yards in 28 carries, scored his first of three touchdowns on a 19-yard run to make it 14-7, and then there were three turnovers in seven plays. Granite Bay fumbled away a possession, Esposito recovered a fumble by Monterey Trail, then the Grizzlies fumbled again on the next play.
The Mustangs took over at the Granite Bay 25 and tied the score on a 15-yard run by Tofi, who now has 2,159 yards rushing this season.
“You really need to have this many turnovers to win a big game,” Cooper said, forming a zero with his thumb and first finger, “and we weren’t able to do that.”
The Grizzlies took the second-half kickoff and marched from their 32 to the Monterey Trail 6. Granite Bay took a 17-14 lead on Chris Campbell’s 23-yard field goal.
Monterey Trail then drove to the Granite Bay 1, where Scott Schaull recovered a fumble. The Grizzlies drove to the Monterey Trail 39, but the march stalled.
The Mustangs took over and took the lead on Tofi’s 59-yard run.
Monterey Trail 22, Granite Bay 17
Monterey Trail 0 14 0 8 – 22
Granite Bay 14 0 3 0 – 17
GB – Kasner 7 pass from Keeney (Campbell kick)
GB – Holt 6 pass from Keeney (Campbell kick)
MT – Tofi 19 run (Albarran kick)
MT – Tofi 15 run (Albarran kick)
GB – FG Campbell 23
MT – Tofi 59 run (Bellamy run)
RUSHING – Monterey Trail, Tofi 28-261, Bellamy 14-65, Calvan 4-11. Granite Bay, Thomas 10-43, Pierce 6-25, Campbell 5-29, Keeney 2-13, Brehm 2-6.
PASSING – Monterey Trail, Calvan 2-3-1, 16. Granite Bay, Keeney 20-34-0, 200.
RECEIVING – Clark 1-12, Worthen 1-4. Granite Bay, Holt 8-85, Campbell 4-52, Kasner 3-20, Brehm 2-17, Mendoza 2-15, Thomas 1-11.