The contest turned into a rout however, as the host Griffins outscored the visiting Hornets 19-0 in the pivotal third quarter on route to a 17 point victory that was not as close as the final score indicated.
Things did not get off on the right foot for Fullerton as standout DL Zach Kiesch was hurt on the first snap. Although Fullerton was able to hold on the first series, the Griffins responded to the challenge as freshman LB Evan Hermanson from Pleasanton, CA forced a 3rd and 11 with 11:29 remaining in the 1st quarter after a 2 yard tackle for loss on 2nd down. Fullerton QB Tom Kirchmeyer's (29-18-1-207) pass to WR Chaz Guinn (6-77) was off target on the third down play as the Griffins took over on the Fullerton 20 following the punt. Kirchmeyer was unable to connect with Guinn on big plays as he was able to last week against Mt. SAC. On the other hand, the Griffins were able to utilize both their passing game or option plays for positive yardage and were able to keep the Hornet D off-balance.
Even without Kiesch in the contest, the Hornets were able to pressure Griffin QB Jarrod Jackson (21-15-1-239), who was able to scramble and make positive plays regardless. Jackson hit WR Marques Clark (2-27) for a 18 yard gain down to the Griffin 15 yard line as Clark made a nice cross field catch after Jackson eluded the Hornet rush. Jackson then proceeded to hit 1st team JC Grid Wire All-American WR Todd Watkins (2-42-2) on a 15-yard TD reception with 6:08 remaining in the opening quarter for the first score of the game. On the very next series, the Hornets turned the ball over back to Grossmont on a bad QB exchange that was recovered by Hermanson on the Grossmont 31 yard line. Two plays later, Jackson hot Watkins on a deep post for a 27 yard TD that quickly put the Griffins up 14-0.
Although the Griffins were able to contain the Fullerton ball carriers on the outside, Hornet RB Alfred Guidry (14-62-1) was running tough and able to gain yardage up the middle of the field. On a key 4th and 1 as the quarter was coming to an end, RB Justin Domineck (4-8) picked up the first down as Grossmont committed a personal foul on the play to give the Hornets 1 and 10 from their own 13 yard line. 11 seconds into the 2nd stanza, Fullerton cut the lead to seven as Guidry scored from 3 yards out. On the Griffins' next possession, Fullerton forced a 3 and 2 with 13:08 remaining in the quarter and held to force a 4th down punting situation. With the Fullerton coaches in the press box yelling to watch a fake, the Griffins proceeded to execute the fake punt as P Clay Perkins threw a short pass to RB Mario Infante that turned into a 34 yard gain. With the Griffins looking to score, Fullerton DL Gabe Long recovered a botched option pitch at the 27 yard line of Grossmont. After a big gain on 1st down for Fullerton, E Andrew Jilles recorded a tackle for loss that killed any momentum Fullerton may have had from the long fumble recovery. Jilles then proceeded to jar the ball loose from Domineck on a screen play that was recovered by LB Bobby Kelly. The Griffins did not waste anytime in taking advantage of the turnover, as Jackson hit WR Joe Griffin (5-99-1)on a 32 yard scoring strike as Griffin beat standout CB Larry Collins deep with 7:36 left in the opening half.
After a controversial roll-over call where Fullerton WR Deonte Sharp (3-39) was ruled to have taken the ball away from DB John Guice on an apparent interception, the Hornets gave the ball right back to Grossmont as DB Maurice London recovered a fumble caused by LB Sosiua Sekona and returned it 37 yards. Griffin RB Gary Franklin (11-152-2) proceeded to score on a 16 yard sweep with 6:52 left in the half as the Griffins went up 28-7. After forcing a Fullerton punt, the Griffins looked to stick another score in before the half closed when Collins stepped in front of a Jackson pass and returned the interception 21 yards for a TD to close the gap back to 14. It was as close as the Hornets got the rest of the afternoon as the Griffins dominated the 2nd half of play.
The Griffins rattled off 19 unanswered points in the 3rd, starting with a 32 yard field goal by Watkins with 6:41 remaining in the quarter. The Grossmont defense then forced a 3 and 24 from the face of their own end zone and DB James Gentile picked of the errant Kirchmeyer pass that also could have easily been picked of by Guice. The Griffin D was putting tremendous pressure on the Fullerton O-line while the Hornet D seemed to fatigue as the half wore on. On the very next play after the pick, Franklin proceeded to score on a nifty 32 yard cutback run where the Hornets missed several tackles. The TD romp put the Griffins up 38-14 and the creek was rising quickly on the Hornets. After Jilles recorded a safety with 4:00 left in the third, Grossmont scored on a wide open 23 yard pass from Jackson to TE Xavier Campbell (1-23-1)after the free kick. The score came with 3:19 left, made the score 47-14, and put no doubt as to the outcome of the contest.
With the Griffins substituting freely in the 4th quarter, the Hornets scored 16 points in the final period to make the final score a respectable 47-30. Two points came on a safety where the long snapper sent the ball over the punters head and out of end zone. 14 points came on two touchdowns, both runs by RB Ronnell Wilson (13-104-2), of 27 and 9 yards. After the 9 yard scoring jaunt with :51 seconds remaining in the game, Fullerton tried an onside kick that was recovered by the Griffins. Unfortunately, a melee ensued after the play and the contest was halted with :48 seconds left to play. Uniformed officers and coaches from both staffs were able to restore order after a couple of scuffles marred the ending of a spirited and hotly contested battle to represent Southern California in the title tilt.
Score by Quarters: 1-2-3-4-Final
Fullerton Hornets... 0-14-0-16 - 30 Record: (10-3)
Grossmont Griffins.. 14-14-19-0 - 47 Record: (13-0)
1st 06:08 GRO - Todd Watkins 15-yd pass from Jarrod Jackson (Todd Watkins kick), 9-80 5:01, FUL 0 - GRO 7
05:12 GRO - Todd Watkins 27-yd pass from Jarrod Jackson (Todd Watkins kick), 2-31 0:44, FUL 0 - GRO 14
2nd 14:49 FUL - Alfred Guidry 3-yd run (Sam Paulesco kick), 14-77 5:23, FUL 7 - GRO 14
07:36 GRO - Joe Griffin 32-yd pass from Jarrod Jackson (Todd Watkins kick), 5-64 2:02, FUL 7 - GRO 21
06:52 GRO - Gary Franklin 16-yd run (Todd Watkins kick), 1-16 0:07, FUL 7 - GRO 28
02:28 FUL - Larry Collins 21-yd interception return (Sam Paulesco kick), , FUL 14 - GRO 28
3rd 06:41 GRO - Todd Watkins 32-yd field goal, 14-71 8:19, FUL 14 - GRO 31
04:44 GRO - Gary Franklin 32-yd run (Todd Watkins kick), 1-32 0:12, FUL 14 - GRO 38
04:00 GRO - Andrew Jilles safety, , FUL 14 - GRO 40
03:19 GRO - Xavier Campbell 23 yd pass from Jarrod Jackson (Todd Watkins kick), 2-69 0:41, FUL 14 - GRO 47
4th 11:42 FUL - TM safety, , FUL 16 - GRO 47
04:12 FUL - Ronnell Wilson 27 yd run (Sam Paulesco kick), 2-40 0:29, FUL 23 - GRO 47
00:51 FUL - Ronnell Wilson 9 yd run (Sam Paulesco kick), 7-60 2:05, FUL 30 - GRO 47
FULLERTON - GROSSMONT
FIRST DOWNS................... 22 - 23
NET YARDS RUSHING............. 121 - 255
NET YARDS PASSING............. 207 - 313
Passes Attempted............ 29 - 24
Passes Completed............ 18 - 17
Had Intercepted............. 1 - 1
TOTAL NET YARDS............... 328 - 568
Penalties: Number-Yards....... 5 for 64 - 13 for 156
Possession Time............... 25:00 - 35:00
Third-Down Conversions........ 4 of 13 - 8 of 15