As of Wednesday, September 3, 2014
GRANGEVILLE — Less than a minute into the Bulldogs’ 2014 opener, defensive back Michael Wilson — Grangeville’s most experienced varsity player — picked off Moscow’s third down pass attempt and returned it 10 yards to the Bears 12. Two minutes later, Jack Lawrence — a junior running back and linebacker making his first varsity start — showed off his speed with a touchdown run around the left side of the formation.
The Bulldogs eventually ran away with it, but the Bears took a 12-6 lead into halftime.
“We were a little tight and nervous before the game, but at halftime we got back into the mode of having fun while playing, and it showed,” GHS head coach Jeff Lindsley said. “I was pleased overall. It was our best season opener in quite a while.”
Leading 6-0, Grangeville forced a poor punt and drove deep into Moscow territory before turning it over on downs; the drive stalled on a holding penalty followed by a sack. Moscow took over at its own 22 and tied the game with a 70-yard touchdown pass over the top of blown coverage.
Apart from that sequence, Grangeville executed well — particularly on offense, which the Bulldogs rattled off play after play with quick tempo.
“We limited our negative plays,” Lindsley said. “We didn’t have too many penalties. We’re working on getting plays off a second or two seconds faster. Our conditioning was better than usual for a first game.”
The teams missed each of their first extra point tries; Moscow, after capping a two-minute drill with a good throw and an excellent catch on a fade route, misfired on a two-point try with about 25 seconds left.
GHS pulled ahead early in the third quarter on a 14-yard run by junior running back Cole Lindsley and a kick by sophomore T.J. Wiltse.
During its next series, Moscow lost a bad snap when Wilson pierced the line and beat Bears senior quarterback Jake Clark to the loose ball.
Wiltse made it 16-12, Grangeville, with a 34-yard field goal.
Then Moscow lost a fumble to Lawrence, who jumped on a ball forced out by senior linebacker Wyatt Dewey.
Grangeville advanced to the Bears 39, where Moscow recovered a GHS fumble.
The Bulldogs forced a turnover on downs just before the start of the fourth quarter, which they dominated.
GHS junior quarterback Layton Harris threw to senior receiver Austin Parks for a 19-yard touchdown. Harris, in his first varsity start, delivered deep passes with accuracy, but also made most of his shorter throws look routine.
After Moscow punted away its ensuing possession, Harris hit Wilson, who ran it in from 40 yards.
“Layton has the right temperment to run an offense,” Lindsley said.
Two minutes later, Wilson scored on a field-length fumble return that effectively ended the game with 6:19 to go.
“Obviously he made momentum-turning plays,” Lindsley said.
Lindsley also praised junior running back Jake Kaschmitter for a “breakout game” which included a 14-yard touchdown run late in the contest as well as 122 rushing yards on 14 attempts.
Among other standouts, senior lineman Eric Kaschmitter “solidified himself at end,” Lindsley said. “And Drew Lindsley had an incredible game. He’ll spring some big runs for us with his blocking this year.”
Coming — Grangeville (1-0) will travel to Marsing (0-1) for a 7 p.m. (MT) kickoff on Friday, Sept. 5. Marsing was routed 38-0 by its Zero Week opponent, Parma, on Aug. 29.
“We’ve seen tape, but it’s tough to see what they do,” Lindsley said. “They run a double wing offense, completely the opposite of what we saw from Moscow this week. We’ll find out what we can do against the run.”