Griz­zlies close out pre­sea­son un­de­feated

GHHS im­prove to 5-0 with 49-0 win Thurs­day

Porterville Recorder - - SPORTS - By NAYIRAH DOSU ndosu@porter­villere­corder.com

For the third time in five games Gran­ite Hills High School foot­ball shutout and dropped over 40 points on their op­po­nent. This week it was the Cougars of Mcfar­land (3-2) that suf­fered the Griz­zlies wrath in the 49-0 fi­nal pre­sea­son vic­tory Thurs­day at Ja­cob Rankin Sta­dium.

Gran­ite Hills is the No. 2 team in the CIF Cen­tral Sec­tion Di­vi­sion VI with a 5-0 record. They sit be­hind the reign­ing Val­ley cham­pi­ons, Strath­more (4-0), who they will face on the road Fri­day, Oct. 27 in a Div. VI and East Se­quoia League show­down.

Slic­ing up the mid­dle and breez­ing down the side­lines Thurs­day was GHHS se­nior Jasper Beru­men. The run­ning back scored the team’s first points on an 8-yard touch­down af­ter GHHS se­nior Alexis Gil tack­led Mcfar­land’s punter in the red zone.

With 1:34 left in the first quar­ter, Beru­men showed off his speed with a 53-yard rush­ing touch­down for a GHHS 14-0 lead to close out the quar­ter. Beru­men fin­ished with 103 yards and two touch­downs on 11 car­ries for his third 100-yard game of the sea­son.

“The thing I’m ex­cited about is our [of­fen­sive] line is start­ing to come around a lot bet­ter,” Wil­liams said. “If we can start get­ting our O-line [go­ing] and [with] Jasper run­ning the ball. I’m lik­ing our chances.”

Gran­ite Hills’ de­fense had an­other stel­lar per­for­mance al­low­ing only two first downs on 12 drives and pre­vent­ing Mcfar­land from reach­ing the Griz­zlies 20yard line all game. In five games, the Griz­zlies have only given up 19 points to their op­po­nents.

“I was very shocked,” Wil­liams said. “We had a re­ally crappy work week on a short work week. It wasn’t where we wanted it to be. And Mcfar­land’s a very good team and they’re well coached. I thought that it was go­ing to be a lot closer than it was.”

Gran­ite Hills ju­nior quar­ter­back Lalo Al­can­tar broke the game wide open with a 10yard touch­down run on a keeper that fol­lowed a 54-yard touch­down from GHHS se­nior run­ning back Seth Luna for a 28-0 lead less than mid­way through the sec­ond quar­ter.

“It’s awe­some,” Wil­liams said. “That’s what we’re look­ing for. We’re look­ing for our of­fense to take over the game and let our de­fense rest.

I thought our de­fense played pretty well. We got banged early, but our de­fense played pretty well.”

The clos­est the Cougars ever came to scor­ing was on their first drive of the game when MHS run­ning back Frankie Lopez took a hand­off from quar­ter­back Juan Car­los Chavez 47-yards to the Griz­zlies’ 27-yard line be­fore be­ing tack­led. Gran­ite Hills de­fen­sive line then drove Mcfar­land back to pre­vent a score.

It took the Griz­zlies less than 30 sec­onds to score in the sec­ond half with Luna tak­ing the open­ing kick­off back 87 yards for an­other touch­down. Se­nior full­back Cris Cis­neros fol­lowed up Luna with a 16-yard touch­down on the team’s next drive and a 10-yard touch­down on the first play of the fourth quar­ter.

GHHS fresh­man kicker Max Jimenez was 7-for-7 on PATS and had one missed field goal.

The Griz­zlies showed some trick­ery in the third quar­ter when Al­can­tar pitched it out to se­nior wide re­ceiver Kenny Xay­acheck who took a cou­ple steps than launched the ball down field to a wide-open Beru­men for a 35-yard touch­down. How­ever the score was negated by a GHHS penalty.

“We had a line­man down field that should’ve never been down field [but] that was awe­some,” Wil­liams said with a smile. He added that trick plays like that are some­thing spec­ta­tors will more than likely see again.

Next week Gran­ite Hills play Cor­co­ran (04) for home­com­ing in the team’s ESL home­opener Fri­day, Oct. 6 at 7:15 p.m.

RECORDER PHOTO BY CHIEKO HARA

Gran­ite Hills High School's Jasper Beru­men runs with the ball to score the team's first touch­down Thurs­day dur­ing the first half against Mcfar­land at Ja­cob Rankin Sta­dium in Porter­ville.

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