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Granite Bay marches into Division I title game

Grizzlies stuff late Stockton-Lincoln drive inside 5-yard line, will meet Pleasant Grove in final
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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STOCKTON -- Lincoln High School quarterback Zack Greenlee handed the ball to fellow junior Justin Davis again and again and again Friday night, 37 times in all.

But when the Trojans had a fourth and goal from the 3-yard line with 1:26 left in a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I semifinal, Granite Bay defensive coordinator Tim Harrington knew what was coming.

Greenlee passed toward Devan Barkley, who made a cut move outside. Nick Bermudez and Aaron Knapp were defending, the pass was broken up, and the Grizzlies ran out the clock to beat Lincoln 28-21 and advance to the championship game next weekend at Sacramento State.

Granite Bay (11-2) will play Pleasant Grove (12-1), which routed Vallejo-Bethel in the other semifinal. The day and game time had yet to be announced Friday night.

Davis rushed for 223 yards and scored all three of Lincoln's touchdowns on runs of 17, 13 and 17 yards. Davis had carries of nine, 12 and 18 yards on the Trojans' final possession, which began at their 32-yard line with 8:18 remaning after Granite Bay scored the go-ahead touchdown on Brendan Keeney's 49-yard toss to Taft Partridge. Keeney hit the streaking Partridge, who beat the Lincoln defense, in stride along the Granite Bay sideline.

On first and goal at the Granite Bay 1, Spencer Briare threw JoJo Bones for a three-yard loss back to the 4. Bones then was held to one yard, and Davis was held to no gain by Beau Hershberger and Jimmy Malamatenios before Greenlee threw incomplete on fourth down.

"We're playing for the whole 48 minutes at a high pace. And we tell our guys that's what we work for. That's why we lift weights," Grizzlies coach Ernie Cooper said. "We've been lifting weights three days a week throughout the entire season. It's a pain when they go in there, but this is why you do it, so you can make a goal-line stand in the 13th game of the year to get to the final."

Granite Bay held the rest of Lincoln's offense to 87 total yards. Greenlee, who threw for more than 300 yards in a quarterfinal win over Elk Grove-Franklin last week, complete just 5 of 15 passes for 77 yards.

Keeney, who was injured on the first series of Granite Bay's quarterfinal victory over Oak Ridge, played the whole game against Lincoln. He completed 10 of 21 passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns, the first a 40-yard bomb to Adam Wagner early in the second quarter and the second a 22-yard toss to Partridge midway through the third period.

That touchdown gave Granite Bay a 13-7 lead, but Lincoln (11-2) answered to lead 14-13.

Arik Bird, who carried 23 times for 131 yards, scored on a five-yard run with 11:07 left in the fourth quarter, starting a three-touchdown barrage in less than three minutes. Lincoln needed just four plays on the next possession to tie the score, and Tony Ellison's 39-yard kickoff return set up the Grizzlies' three-play drive for the go-ahead score.

"We're working hard," said Briare, who caught two passes for 41 yards, scored a two-point conversion on a reception and made several big plays on defense. "We got a good shot at the whole thing. We're gonna see what we can do."

GRANITE BAY 28, STOCKTON-LINCOLN 21

Granite Bay   0   7   6   15 -- 28
Lincoln          7   0   7     7 -- 21

Linc--Davis 17 run (Ayala kick)
GB--Wagner 40 pass from Keeney (Bermudez kick)
GB--Partridge 22 pass from Keeney (kick blocked)
Linc--Davis 13 run (Ayala kick)
GB--Bird 5 run (Briare pass from Keeney)
Linc--Davis 17 run (Ayala kick)
GB--Partridge 49 pass from Keeney (Bermudez kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING--Granite Bay, Bird 23-131, Bertolino 4-28, Partridge 3-10, Ellison 3-9. Lincoln, Davis 37-223, Washington 2-6, Bones 2-minus 2, Greenlee 1-5, Truax 1-1.
PASSING--Granite Bay, Keeney 10-21-0, 203. Lincoln, Greenlee, 5-15-0, 77.
RECEIVING--Granite Bay, Wagner 3-71, Partridge 2-71, Briare 2-41, Bird 1-11, Cooley 1-9, Ellison 1-0. Lincoln, Barkley 3-62, Washington 1-12, Daniel 1-3.

SAC-JOAQUIN SECTION DIVISION I CHAMPIONSHIP

Matchup: No. 2 Pleasant Grove (12-1) vs. No. 5 Granite Bay (11-2).

When, where: 1 p.m. Saturday at Hornet Stadium at Sacramento State.

Tickets: $12 for adults, $8 for senior citizens 60 and older and students. Tickets will go on sale at 11 a.m.
Parking: $5.
Seating: Granite Bay (visitor, east side), Pleasant Grove (home, west side).

Section titles: Granite Bay has won three Division II section titles—in 1999, 2000 and 2007. Pleasant Grove opened in the 2005-06 school year and advanced to its first final in 2008, losing to Stockton-St. Mary’s. Pleasant Grove is the defending champion in Division I.