Grossmont Ready for Another Title Run

Led by QB Tanner Engstrand, the Grossmont Griffins finished their successful 2002 regular season with a 9-1 record. Their sole loss was arguably the best regular season game in the state, a 43-35 setback to conference champ Chaffey in 3 overtimes. It appears that head coach Dave Jordan's squad is again ready to contend -- on paper anyway.

TEAM PROFILE

HEAD COACH: Dave Jordan (13th season in second stint with the Griffins: '71-'77, '90- )

2002 RECAP: We already mentioned the 'almost undefeated' regular season. In the postseason, Grossmont dropped another nail-biter, losing to archrival Palomar College, 20-19 in the South County Bowl. Although the Griffins were outplaying the Comets in nearly every statistical category, Palomar scored two touchdowns in the last two minutes of the game to pull out the victory. A couple of plays and a few breaks that did not work in Grossmont's favor was the difference between a 9-2 season and having a chance to play for the state championship.

2003 OUTLOOK: With six returning starters on offense and five on defense, Grossmont has a good nucleus of returning players and should compete for the conference crown this year. Two greyshirt freshmen, Jarrod Jackson and Jordan Adams are the leading candidates to replace Engstrand as the signal-caller. Either QB will have the luxury of throwing the ball to blue-chip sophomore WR/PK Todd Watkins (6-4, 180), whom has All-Conference ability at both positions, according to Coach Jordan. The offensive line should take some of the pressure off the new QB, as Jordan noted, "We have a veteran offensive line. We are big and strong up front." OT Andre Liddle (6-3, 325) and twin brothers Victor Lauiffi (6-3, 330) and Vince Lauiffi (6-3, 320) should shine in the trenches.

Defensively the Griffins are a solid unit as well. Leading the charge up front is Soph DE Daniel Widders (6-5, 275). "For his size, Widders is quick, agile and a big-time recruit this year," Jordan proclaimed. Another standout among the front seven is ILB Bobby Kelly (6-4, 210).  The back four includes S Chanti Bloomer (6-0, 178), who is an honors candidate as is DB Maurice London (6-1, 184). London, a native of Georgia, picked off seven enemy passes last year to lead the secondary.

FIRST GAME: Sept. 6 at Riverside City College (6:00 p.m.).


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