Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Grizzlies can’t catch Le Grand

DSC_9147e

GOLDEN SIERRA'S Nick White is chased by three Le Grand Bulldogs on this big gain in the second half of Saturday's section finals in Lodi. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

By
From page A6 | December 02, 2013 | Leave Comment

Golden Sierra’s fourth quarter drive for a title ends 30 yards short

LODI — On paper, the Golden Sierra-Le Grand Sac Joaquin Section Division V matchup for the section championship seemed mismatched. The Bulldogs, sporting a perfect 11-0 record, had outscored foes 512-91 while the Grizzlies had lost their first four games before rallying and clinching the title berth with a thrilling overtime win against Mariposa.

Paper isn’t where football games are played.

Behind some late-game heroics and an improbable onside kick recovery, Golden Sierra came within 30 yards of tying the score before being stopped on downs, sealing Le Grand’s 20-13 win at the Grape Bowl.

“I think we really came out and shocked them,” Grizzly quarterback Daniel Lesher said. “I don’t think they (Le Grand) really expected us to come out and fight them as hard as we did. We had our chances we just couldn’t finish it … three times in the red zone and we got just three points.”

Le Grand found pay dirt first, as Ryan Martinez scored on a 1-yard run. The Grizzlies answered as a steady dose of inside running got the ball to the Bulldogs’ 5 yard line. The drive stalled but Brian Cann’s 22-yard field goal cut the lead to 7-3.

“I thought we did a great job of moving the ball all game, we just didn’t finish some drives and that hurt us,” said Golden Sierra head coach John Hilton. “We made some mistakes and Le Grand capitalized on those miscues. It’s one of the reasons they’re undefeated.”

After forcing a punt, the Grizzlies went 11 plays and 50 yards to the Le Grand 14 yard line but came away empty as Cann’s field goal sailed just to the left of the goal post.

“I thought they (Golden Sierra) ran the ball really well against us. They really stuck with their ground and pound and picked up good yardage,” Le Grand head coach Rick Martinez said. “They played tough and we definitely respected them coming in.”

Golden Sierra, with 157 yards rushing on 41 carries. was led by Cameron Stephens who gained 37 on nine carries. Cann added 36 and Brenden Nutt and Lesher each ran five times for 28 yards.

The Grizzlies opened with the ball to start the second half only to fumble four plays into their drive. Three plays later, the Bulldogs found the end zone and took a 13-3 lead.

Down 10, Golden Sierra responded with a nine-play drive capped by Cann’s 33-ard field goal to cut the deficit to 13-6. A 60-yard  pass play from Lesher to Nick White keyed the scoring possession. Lesher finished the game with 121 yards on 7-of-11 passing. White hauled in 106 of those on three catches.

“We talked about it at halftime that we wanted to start the second half and just pound the football,” Hilton said. “We felt good running the ball inside between the tackles. We had some penalties and were forced to go to the pass and Nick made a couple of outstanding plays”

After a Martinez 13-yard score put the Bulldogs up 20-6, the Grizzlies looked to respond and got the ball to Le Grand’s 24 yard line before a second fumble ended the drive.

Golden Sierra’s defense forced a turnover on downs on the ensuing possession and five plays later they found the end zone as White hauled in Lesher’s pass and raced 33 yards to cut the lead to 20-13. Que the onside kick and Austin Burrows’ recovery gave the Grizzlies life and a chance to tie the game.

“We work really hard on special teams and honestly we weren’t all that surprised we executed it,” said Hilton. “Then it’s here we go, here comes that cinderella story and we drive it down.”

Golden Sierra moved quickly from midfield to the Bulldog 30 before Lesher’s fourth down pass to White fell to the turf.

“They’re a really tight bunch of guys and we told them after to enjoy the moment and really savor what we accomplished this year,” Hilton said. “We as coaches are super proud of how they played tonight. The guys played hard right down to the end and things just didn’t fall our way.”

Le Grand’s victory gave the program its fourth consecutive section banner.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

.

News

Downtown group coordinates painting, awnings

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

 
More mountain lion sightings reported

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
Supervisor Nutting trial begins

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 76 Comments | Gallery

Sanford murder case to jury

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Herard over the back fence: Try fishing at Wakamatsu

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

Gearing tax questions to correct office saves time

By Treasurer-Tax Collector | From Page: A3

 
.

Opinion

My turn: More than a buzzword

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A4, 27 Comments

 
Building restored

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
Outstanding dog

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

.

Letters

‘Parents, be afraid’ letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 26 Comments

 
Ukranian situation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 5 Comments

Misquote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 10 Comments

 
Altshuler framing

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 9 Comments

National Day of Prayer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
.

Sports

Pedal power at the forefront next month

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Outside with Charlie: Transitioning

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A6

Pitching the ‘Root’ cause of Trojans’ victory

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Sports Scene: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

Roundup: April 22, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

 
.

Prospecting

4-H’ers star at showcase

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
At a glance: Look for fireballs

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2, 1 Comment

Authors to share their stories

By Pat Lakey | From Page: B2, 2 Comments

 
Church to host human trafficking conference

By Pollock Pines | From Page: B3

Grow For It! Flower of Easter

By Barbara Schuchart | From Page: B5

 
.

Essentials

Crime Log: April 1-3

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Weather stats 4-22-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

Building permits 4/7-11/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Bobby Lloyd Bridges

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Harry Frank Harper

By Contributor | From Page: A2, 6 Comments

Marion “Wayne” Griswold

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Flying McCoys

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Thursday, April 24, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8