GARDEN VALLEY — If there was any doubt whether the Golden Sierra Grizzlies and their five regular season wins warranted a playoff spot, it was quickly and quietly erased as the host Grizzlies cruised to a 51-0 win over the Delhi Hawks to open the CIF Sac-Jouquin Section Division V playoffs Friday.
“We wanted to come out and make a statement,” Golden Sierra head coach John Hilton said.” We wanted to show we were deserving of making the playoffs and that our record wasn’t indicative of how good a team we were.”
The Grizzlies (6-5) used 12 plays and 57 yards before the drive stalled and led to Brian Cann booting a 32-yard field goal in the first quarter. After a quick series by the Hawks, the Grizzlies needed just one play to take control. Brian Cann took the counter pitch and raced 48 yards for a 10-0 Grizzly lead.
After another three-and-out series by the Hawks (5-6) the Grizzlies found pay dirt again as Daniel Lesher scored on a five yard keeper to push the home team to a 17-0 lead.
“Tonight was just one of those nights that everything we called worked. Our guys did a great job of executing and we were fortunate in that regard,” Hilton said.
After holding the Hawks on fourth down on the ensuing drive the Grizzlies capped a six-play drive with a perfectly executed flea flicker pass. Lesher tossed to Cann who found a wide open Dominic Chamberlain for a 44-yard score. Cann’s kick pushed the lead to 24-0.
“Our line deserves all the credit,” Cann said. “They really blocked well and it made it easy to find the open spots.”
Cann led the Grizzlies with 154 yards on 10 carries. Nutt added 47 on seven carries and Jeff Klahn 39 on three totes.
Golden Sierra would add one final score on its fifth scoring drive in as many possessions. Nutt scored on a 12-yard run with just 13 second left in the half for 31-0 lead.
After Anthony Rosas recovered a fumble to thwart the Hawks opening drive, Cann took an option pitch for a 55-yard score. On Golden Sierra’s next possession, Trevor Pedri scored from 10-yards out. Sam Steward added the Grizzlies final score on a 3-yard run.
“I thought we came out and took control early,” said Hilton. ” Our execution was phenomenal and it really showed how hard we worked all week.”
As a team the Grizzlies rushed 42 times for 327 yards. The defense held the Hawks to just 137 total offensive yards.
Golden Sierra advances to the second round this Friday when it plays at No. 2 Mariposa, the Southern League runner-up that had the first round bye.