Grizzlies close out preseason undefeated
GHHS improve to 5-0 with 49-0 win Thursday
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.
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.