NORTH HIGHLANDS — Grinding the ball on offense and big plays on defense in the second half helped the Golden Sierra High football team get back on the winning track in Sierra Delta League action at the Highlands Bowl Friday.
Behind 7-6 to host Highlands at halftime, the Grizzlies rallied to a 20-7 victory. Golden Sierra (2-1 2-5) must win its remaining three league games to earn a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth.
“We still control our own destiny,” Golden Sierra head coach John Hilton said. “We don’t need anybody, or hope somebody can beat someone else. We’re pretty excited about that opportunity.”
On its first offensive drive in the third quarter, Golden Sierra capped a six-play, 48-yard march when running back Jeff Klahn (12 carries,62 yards) scored on a 14-yard end around for a 12-7 lead.
Both teams traded possessions the rest of the quarter. In the fourth, Grizzly safety Cameron Stephens intercepted an Iszir Price pass at midfield, returning it to the Scots’ 34 yard line.
“Cameron is a very smart football player,” said Hilton of Stephens. “Cameron is one of those guys who, if he can make a play, his confidence level just sky rockets and plays very aggressively.”
Eight plays later, Klahn scored his second touchdown on a 3-yard sweep with 2:59 left in the game for an 18-7 score. Brendan Nutt’s (14-57) 2-point conversion run made it 20-7.
Daniel Lesher, who doubles as quarterback, picked off another Price pass to cement the win.
Golden Sierra anwered the Scots’ lone score. Capping a 14 play, 68-yard drive when Nutt took the handoff from Lesher and bounced off three tackles on a 7-yard run with 3:27 left in the first quarter.
The Grizzlies finished with 215 rushing yards, including 115 in the second half. On defense, Golden Sierra held Highlands to 65 total yards in the second half.
The Grizzlies’ JV team was inactive Friday and end their season with a perfect 7-0 record.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or [email protected] Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.