Granite Bay Grizzlies’ run attack ends St. Ignatius Wildcat’s magical journey
With under a minute left in the 2012 Division I CIF Northern California Regional game, St. Ignatius QB Jack Stinn and WR Joe Lang connected on a 55-yard pass to score the team’s second touchdown of the night. Unfortunately, it would be the last of the Wildcats’ tremendous season. Granite Bay High School trampled St. Ignatius 45-17 at Sacramento State University and will advance to the Division I State Championship next week.
Coming off of a mammoth 13-10 win against Bellarmine last week, St. Ignatius looked to have the same defensive success against the Granite Bay Grizzlies. However, Granite Bay would start the game firing on all cylinders. They were the first to score, only taking a minute for RB John Cooley to take it into the end zone from 23 yards out. Cooley was just warming up. He would have a monster performance, running in four touchdowns on the night and eclipsing the 200-yard rushing mark in the middle of the fourth quarter.
From the opening kickoff, Granite Bay showed why they had won ten games in a row after starting the season 1-3. The offense controlled the clock with their running game that included another dominant back in Taft Partridge, who had his own 200-yard rushing performance the previous week. Granite Bay should also thank the excellent field position they had all night. In the first half when they took control of the game 24-3, the Grizzlies started their possessions at their own 35, 36, 43, and the SI 42-yard lines. The Grizzlies played the perfect game.
As for St. Ignatius, QB Jack Stinn and the rest of the Wildcats’ offense were out of sync to start the game, allowing the Grizzlies to pounce on their inability to move the ball. Their first four possessions ended in a three and out, a Michael Capitolo 31-yard FG, a fumble, and another punt. However, it could have been due to the absence of their star running back Elijah Dale, the hero of the game in last week’s win against Bellarmine. On a running play in the second quarter, Dale fumbled the ball on a big 3rd and 2 that was crucial for SI to convert if they were to shrink the 17-3 deficit. Dale lost yards on the run and would come out of the play limping. He would not be very effective from there on out.
The Wildcats’ season ends here, but they undoubtedly had a tremendous season. As for the Granite Bay Grizzlies, they will have a chance to become the Division I State Champions as they will take on the Long Beach Poly Jackrabbits at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
GB – 23-yard run by John Cooley; Colin Brown PAT good (7-0)
GB – 11-yard run by Cooley; Brown PAT good (14-0)
SI – 31-yard FG by Michael Capitolo (14-3)
GB – 42-yard FG by Colin Brown (17-3)
GB – 2-yard run by Cooley; Brown PAT good (24-3)
GB – 19-yard run by Cooley; Brown PAT good (31-3)
GB – 52-yard interception return by Aaron Knapp; Brown PAT good (38-3)
SI – 4-yard pass from Jack Stinn to Andrew Vollert; Michael Capitolo PAT good (38-10)
GB – 2-yard run by Taft Partridge; Brown PAT good (45-10)
SI – 55-yard pass from Stinn to Joe Lang; Capitolo PAT good (45-17)