Granite Bay football closes in on the playoffs with 47-0 shutout of Roseville's WoodcreekBy: Jared Ytrupp■of the Roseville Press Tribune
If there were ever any questions about where Granite Bay High’s football team belongs, the Grizzlies answered them with a resounding 47-0 shutout of host Woodcreek Friday.
Both teams entered with a 5-2 overall record, but Granite Bay is essentially guaranteed a playoff seed at 6-2.
Woodcreek, winners of its first four games, has now lost three of the last four and suddenly seems nowhere close to playing an extended season.
The Grizzlies are now tied for second with Rocklin in the SFL title chase. On Friday, The Thunder was dropped 56-21 by Folsom, nationally-ranked undefeated SFL favorites.
Granite Bay’s offensive push against Woodcreek was led by senior running back Ben Smith, who rushed for three touchdowns, doubling his season total.
The Grizzlies had control of the game from the start, when senior Tyler Brendel took the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.
“That was a great way to start the game,” Granite Bay coach Ernie Cooper said. “We didn’t have a great first drive on offense after that.
Having seven points on the board before you even call a play is a nice little luxury.” For the Timberwolves, quarterback Isaiah Harborth was a steady leader throughout the game despite the growing deficit.
In what was the final home game for the Woodcreek seniors, the game had few moments to take away. Granite Bay stole the best takeways anyway.
The Grizzlies defense forced 5 turnovers, including three fumbles.
Granite Bay put the game out of reach in the second quarter behind two touchdown passes from quarterback Justin Yeaton. His second was a 16-yard strike to Brendel.
A scary moment occurred in the third quarter when Woodcreek return man Kenneth McGloan was hit hard below the waist and didn’t return to his feet. He was taken off the field in an ambulance with an apparent leg injury, but no information on the severity of the injury was known at press time.
The success of Granite Bay’s defense culminated in the third quarter when a defender tipped a pass high into the air and into the arms of safety Wes Chock ,who bullied his way 35 yards for a pick-six.
“This is the time of the year that you’ve got to play great defense,” Cooper lamented. “These are all big games now, to get into the playoffs.
“To win second place in our league would be huge.”
The Grizzlies prepare for the biggest game of the season next week as they play host to the Rocklin. The Thunder was 7-0 before falling to Folsom.
The task doesn’t get any easier going forward for Woodcreek, as it takes to the road to face a well-rested Del Oro program that is coming off their bye.
Considering that Folsom looms in the final week of the season for Woodcreek and Del Oro already has five defeats, this is a must-win game for both programs. The loser will likely not make the playoffs.
Granite Bay’s junior varsity team outlasted the Timberwolves 42-28 in the first game of the evening.
Follow Jared Ytrupp on Twitter, @Jared_Yttrup.