GRANGEVILLE Clarkston and Grangeville entered an interstate showdown last Friday night, Sept. 12, each having bagged a win over Moscow, but during the first eight minutes, the Bantams ran free.
GHS overcame two early Clarkston touchdowns, but ultimately took its first loss by a 30-20 final score.
Grangeville would draw within one possession during the middle quarters and closed within one point by the end of the third.
After junior defensive back Austin Parks made a sure tackle a yard short of the sticks to stop Clarkston’s attempt on fourth down, Grangeville appeared to have momentum.
But at that moment, the Bantams made a big play by pressuring Grangeville into a bad pass, which CHS senior safety Jacob Dwyer intercepted and returned for a touchdown.
Dwyer was also deadly in the kicking game: he converted three-of-four extra points, missing only after his pick-six. On the ensuing kickoff, he snapped off an onside try the Bantams easily recovered.
Bulldogs senior end Eric Kaschmitter stopped Clarkston’s subsequent drive barely outside the GHS end zone, dragging down a Bantams back behind the line of scrimmage on a third-and-goal from the one. But with a short field goal with less than two minutes to go, Dwyer restored Clarkston’s two possession lead, effectively ending the contest.
“I think the first couple series, we weren’t used to the speed and the angles,” coach Jeff Lindsley said. “We don’t have the JV numbers to model it in practice... once we got used to the speed, we were able to vary our coverages and slow them down. On their first big vertical, their big pass play, we had a blown assignment that made it really an easy play for Clarkston.”
That throw from CHS sophomore quarterback A.J. Davis went for a 36-yard completion, setting up a six-yard toss for a touchdown and a 7-0 Clarkston lead. The Bantams stopped Grangeville after an official negated Grangeville’s second play from scrimmage with an unsportsmanlike conduct flag.
Clarkston broke a 25-yard run for a touchdown on its second series.
“We had a helluva time stopping that counter,” Lindsley said.
The Bulldogs struck back with a 65-yard pass from junior Layton Harris to senior Michael Wilson — a play on which the Clarkston sideline complained officials failed to count the number of players on the field and inadvertently allowed GHS to play with an extra man.
After Harris threw to senior end Drew Lindsley to narrow the score to 14-12 on a fourth-and-one, the Bantams had no such complaints. Nor could they fault anything but their own coverage after Harris again found Wilson for a 65-yard touchdown during the third quarter, nor after Wilson caught the ensuing two-point conversion pass from Harris.
That conversion cut Clarkston’s lead to 21-20; GHS never led.
Coming — Grangeville
(2-1) will visit McCall this Friday night, Sept. 19.