GARDEN VALLEY — Under a chill and low fog that made for a perfect night for football in Garden Valley Friday, host Golden Sierra managed to do what no other team Grizzly had done before — finish undeafeated in league after its 37-0 win over San Juan.
The victory enabled the Grizzlies to wrap up the Sierra Delta League title — their first outright league title since 1993 — to earn a first round bye and home playoff game in two weeks.
“Our coaches told us all season long to work hard and work together and if we did that, the scoreboard would take care of itself,” Griz running back Adam Sewell said. “It obviously has tonight.”
Friday’s tone was set on the very first play as Daniel Lesher recovered a San Juan fumble. Seven plays later, Golden Sierra had a 7-0 lead after Bryson Campbell scored from 3 yards out.
“The last three weeks we’ve really stressed we wanted to be in control of the game by the end of the first quarter,” Grizzly coach John Hilton said. “Tonight we were able to get a quick start and defensively we didn’t give them much.”
While the Grizzlies’ defense was limiting the Spartans to just 83 yards of total offense, the offense added another first quarter score as Sewell scored from a yard out to make it 14-0. Sewell led all rushers with 175 yards on 14 carries and two scores as the Grizzlies rushed for 285 yards on the night.
“Adam had a big game tonight and right now our offensive line is really clicking,” Hilton said. “Guys like (Daniel)Lesher, (Bryson) Campbell, (Brian) Cann all run the ball extremely well so we have a lot of options.”
Up 17-0 to start the second half, Golden Sierra extended on Lesher’s 5 yard scoring run. One possession later, after a Samuel Steward interception, the Grizzlies capped a 12-play drive with Sewell’s 3-yard scoring run. Golden Sierra’s final score came on Cameron Stephens’ zig-zagging 82-yard punt return.
“Were obviously very excited about the league title, the whole school and community as well,” Hilton said. “It just proves to our guys that if you do things right, don’t take shortcuts and work hard everyday, you’ll be rewarded. I’m just so happy and proud of this team right now.”
Along with Sewell, Lesher added 35 yards rushing and Stephens and Campbell added 25 each. Campbell added 20 yards passing to Steward (12) Stephens (4) and Sewell (4). Campbell connected on a 23-yard field goal in the second quarter.