Timberwolves' most successful season comes to end

Grant tops Woodcreek 49-14
By: Russ Edmondson
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Woodcreek High’s most successful football season in its history came to an end at Grant High Friday night as the Pacers topped the Timberwolves 49-14 in a Sac-Joaquin Section, Division II playoff game. Grant will now play Burbank in the DII championship game next week as Burbank topped Roseville 36-27 Friday night. “We went from the worst record in school history (last year) to the best record in school history,” Woodcreek coach John Hildebrand said. “This is an amazing group. It’s been a pleasure to work with them since January and I’m sorry that it’s done.” Playing before a large crowd, mixed with lots of supporters from both sides, Grant led 12-0 at halftime. While Woodcreek had just eight yards of offense in the opening half, its defense was able to limit Grant’s high-powered offense. Then both teams were able to do a lot more offensively over the last two quarters. The Timberwolves drove the ball 60 yards for their first touchdown, making the score 28-7 with 3:22 left in the third quarter. Woodcreek junior running back James Nunley finished off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run. He also had runs of 21 and six yards on the drive while senior teammate Nathan Chiarratti had a 27-yard run that moved the ball to the Pacers’ two-yard line. Woodcreek’s second touchdown came with eight minutes left in the game and made the score 35-14. Woodcreek quarterback Tommy Murphy passed back to receiver Xavier Ellis who then threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Mike Greiner. Nunley carried the ball six times for two yards in the first half but he finished the game with 19 carries for 62 yards. Chiarratti ran six times for 35 yards. “Our O-line is pretty darn good and we wore on them,” Hildebrand said of his team’s second-half improvement in running the ball. “We played great defense in the first half but more than anything else we left our defense on the field for too long.” All seven of Grant’s touchdowns came on the ground with junior Devontae Booker (21 carries, 190 yards, five touchdowns) leading the way. Quarterback Kipeli Koniseti (11 carries, 116 yards, one touchdown) and receiver Howard Warren (three carries, 72 yards, one touchdown) also were very effective on the ground. Murphy finished the game 9-of-17 passing for 46 yards and one interception. His targets were Ellis (three catches, nine yards), Thomas Sandoval (three catches, 23 yards) and Nunley (three catches, 14 yards). Koniseti completed 2-of-8 passes for 21 yards and he had a pass intercepted by Woodcreek’s Brad Bastian near the end of the first half.