Grizzlies feed off their senior menu

Andrews, Briare, Keeney pave the way to victory over Pleasant Grove
By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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Granite Bay’s game plan included heavy helpings of lineman Gavin Andrews, quarterback Brendan Keeney and two-way player Spencer Briare.

The Grizzlies ran behind Andrews, who blocked every Pleasant Grove jersey in his path. Andrews also took several snaps on the defensive line and blocked two passes. Keeney threw 19 passes, and four of his 13 completions went to Briare, including two for touchdowns and another on fourth down to set up a score on the next play.

“In any coach’s bag of tricks, you better have some plays for your top players,” Cooper said. “But more than anything, I was not leaving this field without milking number 77 (Andrews), number 18 (Keeney) and number 5 (Briare) for all they were worth.”

Said Andrews, “I love Coach Coop. He brought me up as a sophomore, and he was building me for this.”

Andrews and Armstead

Many eyes were on the matchup between Andrews (6 foot 6, 320 pounds) and Pleasant Grove star lineman Arik Armstead (6-7, 285).

The NCAA Division I recruits locked up early, and Andrews had a huge game on both sides of the ball, but it was no fight to the finish, as Armstead was slowed by a shoulder injury.

“I don’t believe he was 100 percent with that shoulder, so I don’t take that as me beating him,” said Andrews, who exchanged handshakes and pats to the head with Armstead during the coin toss and halftime meeting at midfield. “But it was a battle; it was a real big battle against that guy.”

Grace-fully denied

Granite Bay had an interception and fumble recovery denied by the officials with Pleasant Grove players ruled down on both plays. The Eagles scored a touchdown on the next play each time.

Late in the first quarter, junior cornerback Nick Grace stuck Wyatt Demps just as Demps jumped to catch a pass from Cody Demps. The two rolled, and Grace emerged with the ball, holding it up and showing it to an official.

“I thought I had the ball,” Grace said of what would have been his second interception of the post season. He intercepted a pass on the last play of the Grizzlies’ 31-7 victory over Napa in the first round. “I guess I didn’t take it soon enough, but oh well, it’s what the ref ruled. I’m just happy we won the game.”

Just out for a drive

Over the course of its four playoff games, Granite Bay assembled eight touchdown drives of at least 10 plays and had nine- and eight-play scoring marches.

Contact Bill Poindexter at Follow him on Twitter at BillP_RsvPT.