Cagle threw touchdown passes of 12, 69 and 17 yards to Tolbert in the first half as Grossmont (4-1) built a 21-13 halftime lead. The Griffins never trailed in the game, but led by just a single score when Cagle threw his fourth and final scoring pass of the night, a spectacular back-shoulder throw that Jabril Clewis grabbed with one hand despite some tight coverage before speeding down the left sideline for a 74-yard touchdown that sealed the victory for Grossmont.
Grossmont scored the game's first touchdown on Cagle's 13-yard scoring toss to Tolbert late in the first quarter. The Griffins had driven to the Cougar 14 midway through the quarter, only to come away empty when a 31-yard field goal attempt was blocked by COC's Hayden Wright. But Grossmont got the ball back just three plays later when Tyler Canton intercepted a pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage and returned it to the Cougar 23. Five plays later, Tolbert gave the Griffins a 7-0 lead.
Canyons answered with a touchdown early in the second quarter when C.J. Williams threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to LeBronze Allen to tie the score. But Tolbert scored on a 69-yard touchdown pass just 52 seconds later to put Grossmont back in front, and the Griffins led the rest of the way. Tolbert's third touchdown pass of the night, sandwiched between a pair of short field goals by Canyons' Kevin Neitzke, allowed Grossmont to hold a 21-13 lead at the break. Nietzke attempted a 41-yard field goal late in the half, but Grossmont's Alex Carswell blocked the kick to allow the Griffins to maintain their 8-point lead.
Canyons took the second half kickoff and drove 75 yards in 8 plays, drawing close when Tylan McBride scored on a 7-yard run. Nietzke added the extra point to make it 21-20, but the Cougars never quite caught up.
Grossmont maintained its lead with a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter. Marshall Faulk Jr. caught a 43-yard pass from Cagle to get the Griffins close, and two plays later threw a key block that allowed Keith Fulton to score on a 3-yard run to make it 28-20. Then, after a Canyons punt, Nehemiah Brown capped an 8-play drive with a 14-yard scoring run with 1:08 left in the third quarter to stretch Grossmont's lead to 35-20.
Canyons scored on the first play of the fourth quarter when Marquise Brown caught a pass from C.J. Williams and carried it 58 yards for the score, closing the gap to 35-27. And the COC defense forced a Grossmont punt, giving the Cougars one last chance to tie the score. The Cougar offense drove into Griffin territory when McBride broke free for a 31-yard gain on a running play to the Grossmont 41. But three plays gained just three more yards, and the Cougars were forced to punt with 11:24 left.
Three plays later, Clewis hauled in Cagle's last pass of the night to put the game away. Sprinting up the sideline with tight coverage, Clewis reached back for a back-shoulder throw with one hand, then eluded his would-be tackler and sped 74 yards down the sideline to make it 42-27 with 9:58 left. Back-up quarterback Spencer Moyer threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Quintin Vinzant with just under 6 minutes left to make it 49-27 and complete the scoring.
Cagle completed 16 of 32 passes for 350 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions; with Moyer the two Griffin quarterbacks combined for 405 yards and 5 touchdowns. Brown had 51 yards rushing and a touchdown on 8 carries, and Fulton had 24 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. Tolbert led Griffin receivers with 6 catches and led all receivers with 140 yards and 3 touchdowns. And the Grossmont defense registered 7 quarterback sacks for the game, with Hunter Clark and Quartarius Boone each registering two sacks.
For Canyons, Williams completed 15 of 31 passes for 260 yards, 2 touchdowns, and one interception, which came on a tipped ball. McBride led all rushers with 96 yards on 15 carries, and he scored one touchdown. Marquise Brown had another huge night with 6 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown plus 2 punt returns for 63 yards and one kickoff return for 48 yards for 238 all-purpose yards on just 9 touches.
The win improves Grossmont's record to 4-1, but the Griffins will face powerful Fullerton on October 15th following a bye week. Canyons falls to 2-3 with three straight losses, and will host Ventura on October 15th in the National-North opener.
Grossmont Griffins 49
Canyons Cougars 27
Saturday, October 1, 2016 – 6 pm – Cougar Stadium (COC) – Santa Clarita
G – Tolbert 12 yd pass from Cagle (Grimm kick) 3:02 (7-0)
C – Allen 32 yd pass from C.Williams (Nietzke kick) 13:53 (7-7)
G – Tolbert 69 yd pass from Cagle (Grimm kick) 13:01 (14-7)
C – FG Nietzke 19 yds 8:35 (14-10)
G – Tolbert 17 yd pass from Cagle (Grimm kick) 7:31 (21-10)
C – FG Nietzke 26 yds 0:57 (21-13)
C – McBride 7 yd run (Nietzke kick) 10:56 (21-20)
G – Fulton 3 yd run (Grimm kick) 5:15 (28-20)
G – N.Brown 14 yd run (Grimm kick) 1:08 (35-20)
C – M.Brown 58 yd pass from C.Williams (Nietzke kick) 14:52 (35-27)
G – Clewis 74 yd pass from Cagle (Grimm kick) 9:58 (42-27)
G – Vinzant 29 yd pass from Moyer (Grimm kick) 5:57 (49-27)
First Downs: Canyons 20 (7 rush, 11 pass, 2 penalty), Grossmont 22 (8 rush, 11 pass, 3 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: Canyons 41-138, Grossmont 33-129
Passing Yds: Canyons 260, Grossmont 405
Comp-Att-Int: Canyons 15-31-1, Grossmont 20-37-0
Return Yds: Canyons 201, Grossmont 62
Sacks-Yds: Canyons 1-1, Grossmont 7-29
Fumbles-Lost: Canyons 1-1, Grossmont 1-0
Penalties-Yds: Canyons 10-100, Grossmont 8-65
Time of Possession: Canyons 32:31, Grossmont 27:29
Rushing: C 14-Tylan McBride 15-96, 23-Sirmons 8-29, 20-K.Smith 3-17, 3-C.Williams 14-2, 6-M.Brown 1-(-6); G 22-N.Brown 8-51, 4-Cagle 10-32, 21-Fulton 11-24, 35-C.Clark 2-16, 3-I.Martinez 2-6
Passing: C 3-C.J. Williams 15-31-1-260, 2 TDs; G 4-Brad Cagle 16-32-0-350, 4 TDs; 10-S.Moyer 4-5-0-55, 1 TD
Receiving: C 6-Marquise Brown 6-127, 15-Marlow 3-38, 22-Fitzpatrick 2-28, 14-McBride 2-13, 17-Allen 1-32, 20-K.Smith 1-22; G 13-Adrian Tolbert 6-140, 22-N.Brown 2-23, 18-Ledesma 2-9, 21-Fulton 2-9, 84-Clewis 1-74, 1-Guice 1-46, 25-M.Faulk Jr. 1-43, 16-Vinzant 1-29, 88-Barlow 1-13, 14-M.Smith 1-11, 24-Spradling 1-6, 85-Murray 1-2
Sacks-Yds: C 58-Savea 1-1; G 49-Boone 2-10, 19-H.Clark 2-8, 92-Simmons 1-5, 45-Poumele 1-4, 81-Oilar 1-2
Interceptions-Ret Yds: C none; G 20-Canton 1-7
Fumble Rec-Ret Yds: C none; G 55-Kerr 1-0
Punters: C 31-McKinney 6-37.5 avg; G 46-Haltom 3-39.0 avg, 47-Lester 2-33.0 avg
Kick Returns: C 23-Sirmons 3-61, 6-M.Brown 1-48, 53-Blanchfield 1-15, 81-Schuessler 1-14; G 84-Clewis 1-28, 39-Afato 1-16
Punt Returns: C 6-M.Brown 2-63; G 22-N.Brown 2-11
Missed FG: C 92-Nietzke 41 yds (blocked); G 2-Grimm 31 yds (blocked)
Notes: Grossmont entered ranked #8 in South-National and improves to 4-1; Canyons entered ranked t-11th in South-National and falls to 2-3. 7-Wright blocked the FGA for Canyons. Grossmont's 1st TD came after Canton's interception, which came on a pass tipped at the line. 8-Carswell blocked the FGA for Grossmont. Marshall Faulk Jr. had a 43-yd reception to set up Grossmont's 6th TD and had a key blocked on the touchdown play. A roughing the punter kept the drive alive for Grossmont's 7th TD. Grossmont now leads the all-time series, 7-3.