Granite Bay is tuned and ready for SFL

Grizzlies' defense forces 7 turnovers; Keeney throws 6 TD passes
By: Bill Poindexter
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Coach Ernie Cooper says Granite Bay High School is ready for the Sierra Foothill League. So does senior linebacker Austin Cobabe.
The Grizzlies (3-2) looked ready Friday night in pasting winless Pittsburg 45-7, totaling 427 yards and 21 first downs on offense and turning five of the Pirates’ seven turnovers into points.
Next up is an SFL opener next Friday night at Nevada Union. The game was reported as scheduled for Thursday, but Cooper said the game is next Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Grass Valley.
While junior quarterback Brendan Keeney looked crisp in completing 15 of 21 passes for 259 yards and a whopping six touchdowns, the Granite Bay defense was ferocious in holding Pittsburg (0-5) to 62 yards rushing and crushing several ball carriers. Cobabe jarred loose two passes just a couple of minutes apart in the first quarter.
“Just to hit hard, get a win and make sure we were making all of our tackles, get something going for us going into league,” Cobabe said of the Grizzlies’ goals on defense going into their final nonleague game.
Goal met. Spencer Briare recovered two fumbles, Brock Kent recovered one, and Nik Reeves and J.R. Calton literally shared one, falling on the ball at the same time and rising together clutching it. Grant Gunderson, Nate Esposito and Jacob Erickson had interceptions.
And the Grizzlies wasted no time cashing in. Keeney completed a 21-yard touchdown pass to Cory Pierce to cap a 10-play, 64-yard drive with 2:33 left in the first period. Pierce had three blockers and no resistance from the Pirates on the screen play to the left.
Keeney tossed a 13-yard touchdown pass to Tanner Holt a little more than a minute later, three plays after a fumble recovery at the Pittsburg 19-yard line. Holt was defended well, and Keeney’s pass was in a perfect spot over Holt’s shoulder.
Keeney hit Cory Brehm with a 43-yard bomb midway through the second quarter, and the Grizzlies added to their 21-7 halftime lead when Keeney threw a three-yard jump ball to 6-foot-4-inch tight end Matt Kasner and a 20-yard corner lob to Holt a little more than three minutes apart in the third period, both following fumble recoveries.
“I told them I was very proud of them, because I thought we came out and played pretty hard,” Cooper said. “We made a few mistakes. We weren’t perfect by all means, but we played hard, and we played with some tenaciousness. We got after it a little bit and had some big hits, knocked the ball out, and that’s what we’ve been trying to preach. When you play hard for four quarters, good things are going to happen for you.”
Granite Bay debuted a new kicker in junior Nick Bermudez, who booted the last four extra points and a 27-yard field goal. Senior Chris Campbell put three more kickoffs into the end zone and kicked two extra points before getting knocked around and shut down for the night.

JV game
Granite Bay 28, Pittsburg 0
– The Grizzlies (3-0) remained unbeaten as Ty Serna made two touchdown catches, including a fingertip grab while laying out in the end zone. Steven Graber had a touchdown reception, and Clint Ellinwood a touchdown run.

Granite Bay 45, Pittsburg 7
Pittsburg 0 7 0 0 – 7
Granite Bay 14 7 21 3 – 45
GB – Pierce 21 pass from Keeney (Campbell kick)
GB – Holt 13 pass from Keeney (Campbell kick)
GB – Brehm 43 pass from Keeney (Bermudez kick)
Pitt – Watson 1 run (Chivichon kick)
GB – Bertolino 39 pass from Keeney (Bermudez kick)
GB – Kasner 3 pass from Keeney (Bermudez kick)
GB – Holt 20 pass from Keeney (Bermudez kick)
GB – FG Bermudez 27

Individual statistics
RUSHING – Pittsburg, Brown 7-48, Watson 3-7, Anderson 2-5, Britt 2-0, Mozee 1-2. Granite Bay, Brehm 8-53, Pierce 6-21, Thomas 6-20, Lucia 5-19, Partridge 3-9, Bertolino 3-1, Keeney 3-minus 5, Marenco 2-6, Campbell 1-14, Mook 1-3.
PASSING – Pittsburg, Watson 16-28-2, 208; Mozee 1-4-1, 9. Granite Bay, Keeney 15-21-1, 259; Brehm 1-1-0, 27.
RECEIVING – Pittsburg, Mozee 6-98, Barnes 4-35, Soliz 3-31, Mapp 2-26, Brown 1-18, Turner 1-9. Granite Bay, Holt 7-129, Brehm 2-57, Bertolino 2-48, Kasner 2-22, Pierce 2-19, Valentine 1-11.