Coming off a strong performance last week where they scored 34 points in a season opening win against Parlier, the Granite Hills offensive football team took a step back Friday night in a 19-14 loss to the visiting McFarland Cougars in front of their home crowd at Jacob Rankin Stadium.
The Granite defense however was a bright spot as they were able to force three turnovers, including on the opening possession of the game when Andre Longoria picked off a Jorge Hernandez pass and returned it close to midfield. The Grizzlies offense however couldn’t take advantage as they turned it over on downs.
McFarland put together a drive that saw them advance the ball inside the Grizzly 5 yard line, but a big play on 3rd down forced a FG attempt which was missed and the game remained tied at 0.
After the Grizzlies turned it over on downs again, McFarland gave them great field position when they muffed a punt. However Granite turned it right back over with a fumble.
McFarland got good runs from Miguel Ortgega and Monico Orquizo to once again get the ball into the Granite Hills red zone. The Cougars coughed up the ball again and the teams went into the halftime locker room scoreless.
After the teams exchanged punts to open the second half McFarland blocked a punt and recovered it at the Grizzly 37. It took just one play for the Courgars to capitalize as Gustavo Manzo rumbled 37 yards down the right sideline into the end zone. The PAT was no good and McFarland led 6-0
Things got worse for the Grizzlies after a 19 yard punt gave McFarland great field position again. It took McFarland just 4 plays to find paydirt again as quarterback Jorge Hernadez snuck in from 1 yard out to extend the lead. The 2 point conversion failed and the Cougars had built a 12-0 lead.
All bad things come in threes, and this time Granite fumbled at their own 19 yard line. One play later Urquizo rumbled 19 yards across the goal line. The extra point was good and all of a sudden the Cougars led 19-0.
Things started to look up for the Grizzlies as Diego Garay took the kickoff 83 yards untouched for a TD. Granite’s two point conversion failed but the Grizzlies grabbed some momentum and trailed 19-6.
The turnover bug then bit McFarland as a bad snap on a punt attempt gave Granite Hills the ball at the Cougar two yard line. Daniel Ramirez scored on the next play and after a successful two point conversion the Grizzlies found themselves right back in the game trailing just 19-14.
After forcing a three and out the Grizzlies got the ball at their own 49 with 7:19 remaining, and a chance to take the lead. But after a holding call negated a long run the Grizzlies fumbled.
The exhausted Granite defense wasn’t able to get the ball back as McFarland ran out the remainder of the clock to take the win.
The Grizzlies fell to 1-1 on the season and will play at Exeter this Friday.