It was a long night for the Granada football team as the No. 3 state-ranked Bobcats were crushed by the No. 1 state ranked Stratton Eagles, 70-28, on Friday night at Manuel Gonzales Field in Granada.
Stratton unleashed a potent ground attack that accounted for 10 touchdowns in the rout. The Eagles amassed 379 yards on the ground. Stratton threw only four total passes in the game.
Alex Cruz, a senior, was a one-man wrecking crew for the Eagles as the speedy running back gained 280 yards on 11 carries and scored 6 rushing touchdowns. He had two more rushing touchdowns, but they were nullified by penalties.
Cyler Notter, a junior, added 77 yards rushing on 9 carries and scored 3 touchdowns.
On defense, Stratton harassed and pressured Granada quarterback Brandon Gonzales all night.
Notter led the Eagles’ defense with 12 tackles (6 solo). He also had 2 sacks.
Brody Webb followed with 11 tackles (5 solo). Joe Shean added 7 tackles (1 sack), Dawson Thompson had 6, and Cruz 5.
Charlie Tagmeyer had 1 interception.
Granada took a 2-0 lead on a safety to start the game but after that it was all Stratton.
The Eagles took a 26-8 lead after the first quarter.
After Granada turned the ball over on downs on its first possession, Stratton struck paydirt on the first play from scrimmage on a 53-yard scamper by Cruz. The PAT kick was good by Gage Levin to make it 8-2 with 7:14 on the clock.
The Eagles scored again on the first play from scrimmage with Cruz going 38-yards for the score. The PAT kick was good to bring the score to 14-2 with 4:17 showing.
Following a Granada punt, Cruz did it again and scored on the first play on a 28-yard run with 2:30 left in the quarter to put the Bobcats on their heels.
Granada fans finally got something to cheer about when the Bobcats scored on a 42-yard pass from Gonzales to Jonus Guevara to make it 20-8 with 2:17 on the clock.
Following an onside kick by Granada, Cruz hit paydirt on the first play as he scampered 41-yards for the score. The PAT kick was blocked as the score stood 26-8 with 2:02 showing.
In the second quarter, Stratton scored three more times to extend its lead to 47-22 at halftime.
The Eagles scored on a 36-yard run by Notter with 9:33 showing in the quarter to take a 34-8 lead.
After a Granada punt, the Eagles turned the ball over on a fumble that was recovered by Guevara at the Stratton 29.
The Bobcats scored on the fourth play when Gonzales was pressured and hit but managed to flip the ball to Maddox Coleman who scored on a 36-yard pass. The PAT kick was good by Jose Sanchez to make it 34-16 with 4:57 remaining.
Following the ensuing kick, Stratton scored with 1:39 showing on a 1-yard run by Notter to bring the score to 41-16.
From the Granada 24, the Bobcats scored in five plays. Facing 3-and-9 from the 30, Gonzales hooked up with Coleman on an incredible play when the pass was tipped in tight coverage. Coleman managed to make the catch while on his back as the play went for 45 yards to the Stratton 15.
After an incomplete pass, Gonzales found Coleman on a 15-yard TD strike. The kick failed on the extra point as the score stood 41-22 with 36 seconds left.
Stratton would answer with a 55-yard TD run by Cruz. The kick was no good.
In the third quarter, Cruz would score two more rushing touchdowns on runs of a six-yard run and 58-yard run as the Stratton lead ballooned to 63-22 at the end of three quarters.
The score was 70-22 with 7:45 remaining in the game when the running clock came into effect.
Granada closed the scoring with a 75-yard kickoff return by Terrance Hainer for the final score of 70-28.
Stratton is now 2-0 while Granada fell to 1-1.
The Eagles are now 4-0 against Granada in the 6-man ranks since the 2018 season. The two teams did not play against each other in 2020.
Granada prepares for another big game when they host the No. 2 state-ranked Fleming Wildcats (2-0) at 1 o’clock on Saturday, Sept. 10th.
Fleming is 2-0 this season after wins against North Park (45-12) and Idalia (44-6).
Granada is 0-2 against Fleming. The two teams have had some close battles as Fleming beat the Bobcats, 49-44, in the last game of the 2020 regular season.
Granada and Fleming would meet each other again in the 2020 state semifinals as the Wildcats rallied for a 52-46 victory.
The Bobcats ended the 2020 season with a 6-2 record with their only losses to Fleming.
Fleming went on to the 2020 state championship with a 60-28 victory against Stratton/Liberty to cap an undefeated 8-0 season.
IN CLASS A 8-MAN, the Wiley Panthers opened their season with a road win at John Mall, 50-30, last Friday.
“Wiley had a great start on defense but a slow one on offense in the first half,” said Wiley head coach Nick O’Loughlin. “Our offense came on during the second half. Our boys got in a rhythm with five drives in a row and all coming away with scores. We feel our defense is very solid only giving up two big broken plays and one kickoff return for a touchdown.”
Wiley trailed 10-6 after the first quarter and were behind 16-14 at halftime.
The Panthers came out to take a 28-16 lead in the third quarter.
Wiley outscored John Mall, 22-14, in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
The Panthers generated a total of 474 yards of offense including 106 yards rushing and 368 passing.
Quarterback Cade Phillips had a stellar performance passing the ball. He completed 35-of-43 pass attempts for 368 yards with 4 TD passes and 2 interceptions.
Evan Larrick shined as the leading receiver for the Panthers with 15 catches for 186 yards and 1 touchdown.
Devon Jacobs also had a solid game with 12 catches for 86 yards and 3 TD receptions.
Jace Parker added 3 catches for 53 yards and Ivan Ayala had 4 catches for 41 yards.
On the ground, Phillips had 7 carries for 56 yards with 1 TD.
Devon had 2 carries for 4 yards and 1 TD.
Larrick had 5 carries for 18 yards and 1 TD.
Ayala had 3 carries for 28 yards.
The individual scoring for Wiley is as follows:
Devon Jacobs scored on a 1-yard run for a touchdown.
John mall scored 2 on a safety on a Wiley punt.
5-yard touchdown run by Cade Phillip. Jacobs 2-point conversion run.
Larrick 10-yard TD pass. 2-point conversion no good.
Jacobs 5-yard TD pass.
Jacobs 10-yard TD pass.
Larrick 1-yard TD run.
Jacobs 13-yard TD pass.
Jacobs also had a 85-yard kickoff return late in the 4th quarter but it was called back on a penalty.
On defense, Cooper Tixier led the way with 13 tackles including six tackles for loss and one tackle for a force fumble.
Larrick had 7 tackles, 4 assisted, and 1 sack.
Parker had 3 tackles, 1 assisted, and 1 pass break up.
Gabe Jacobs had 2 assisted tackles and 1 interception.
Brendon Campbell had 5 tackles.
James Pearson had 3 tackles.
Ty Michael had 2 interceptions.
Ayala had 3 tackles.
In other games involving League 7 teams, McClave (0-2) lost on the road against the No. 5 state-ranked Merino Rams, 40-14, on Friday, No. 9 Swink lost to No. 6 Sanford, Las Animas fell to Lyons, 48-14, and Springfield beat Sargent, 20-6.
Holly (1-0) was idle last week and prepares for a big game this Friday when the Wildcats host the defending state champion Haxtun Fight’n Bulldogs. The kickoff is set for 6 p.m.
This week, Springfield (1-1) will host Clayton, N.M. (3-0) on Friday while Swink (1-1) heads to John Mall (0-2).
On Saturday, Sept. 10th, McClave (0-2) will host Dolores Huerta (0-2) at 1 p.m.
Wiley (1-0) travels to face Hayden (1-0) at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Las Animas is idle this week.