Div II Granite Bay rocks Div I Lincoln

Even though the Granite Bay High football team won last year's Div. II Sac-Joaquin Section championship, there's not much that's Div. II about the Grizzlies at all.

They have one of the best bands in Northern California, the school's enrollment is well beyond most Div I standards and they play in a league that's becoming one of the best in the region, too.

Coach Ernie Cooper's squad ventured to Stockton on Friday night to face defending Sac-Joaquin Section Div. I champ Lincoln and came away with a 19-6 triumph.

It was wondered before the season began how Lincoln might react to being the defending section champ, having a number of returning starters and being in the spotlight as a state-ranked team. Apparently the Trojans would rather come out of the woodwork. They showed little emotion in the fourth quarter after they scored their only touchdown. Instead of stopping Granite Bay and getting the ball back, the Lincoln defense allowed the Grizzlies to run out the final 6:57 of the clock.

Granite Bay tried an onside kick to start the game and executed it brilliantly. Colin Hughes came up with the recovery, which set up a nine-play, 45-yard drive that was capped by Tyler Cunningham's one-yard run.

The Grizzlies didn't convert a second onside kick recovery after they had the first one, but did cash in after Lincoln's Ramon Glasgow coughed it up at the Granite Bay 43. Quarterback Mark Palmer hit on three passes during that drive, including a five-yarder to Chris Albano for the touchdown.

Granite Bay came out strong in the second half in a more traditional sense as the offense drove 69 yards in seven plays. A 32-yard scamper into the end zone by Ryan Kirby proved to be more than the Grizzlies would need.

Lincoln scored its lone touchdown in the fourth quarter on a two-yard run by Marc Rubalcava.

Next week, Granite Bay will play at home againast Nevada Union of Grass Valley. The Miners were the only team to defeat the Grizzlies last season.

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