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COLUMN: The big difference one break makes

Among all the pivotal plays Grangeville’s offense produced this season, head coach Jeff Lindsley highlighted a draw play the Bulldogs called for Jake Kaschmitter in a must-convert long-yardage situation against Nampa Christian. Earlier in the year, the Bulldogs scored on a fourth-and-29 draw play to Kaschmitter against Asotin — playing off the defense’s need to respect the GHS passing game. Such plays demonstrated the 2015 Bulldogs’ moxie.

Photo by Andrew Ottoson
Among all the pivotal plays Grangeville’s offense produced this season, head coach Jeff Lindsley highlighted a draw play the Bulldogs called for Jake Kaschmitter in a must-convert long-yardage situation against Nampa Christian. Earlier in the year, the Bulldogs scored on a fourth-and-29 draw play to Kaschmitter against Asotin — playing off the defense’s need to respect the GHS passing game. Such plays demonstrated the 2015 Bulldogs’ moxie.



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Grangeville coach Jeff Adams reacts to the first offensive touchdown the Bulldogs scored during their title game triumph over Aberdeen.

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Grangeville’s Cole Lindsley (pictured) had a key hand in one of the defensive highlights of the year, scoring on a lateral from Shaydn Wassmuth, who recovered a fumble against Orofino.

When asked what play he’ll remember most about this season, 2A football “coach of the year” Jeff Adams pointed to the fumble recovery Austin Parks made after Parker Walters whacked Aberdeen’s quarterback in the end zone for a safety.

“They punted it to Booker Bush, and I saw Booker kind of have to reach for it, and I thought, ‘That’s trouble,” Adams said. “I had been thinking if we could put one more score on them, get up by two touchdowns, they’d have a very long road back running that sniffer.”

The sniffer — an offensive formation not known for putting up lots of points in a hurry — is essentially all-in on gaining six yards at a time.

The ball bounced away from Bush, but Parks had positioned himself well to prevent a turnover — and preventing turnovers has been a focal point for the Bulldogs.

The bounce broke Grangeville’s way.

“If they had got that back and we had to face them driving on a short field up 9-0, that might have given them a chance,” Adams said.

Instead, GHS kept possession and took it to Aberdeen in the Tigers’ own style — running often, running the clock down, squashing the opposition’s opportunities. “It was the first time we’ve ever wanted the ball if we won the opening toss,” Adams said. “We wanted to go right at them to get the lead. It was odd that they won the toss and chose to kick to us. It worked out.”

It marks the first time anyone can remember that an offensive coordinator — or anyone other than the title-winning head coach — was named “coach of the year.”

That was head coach Jeff Lindsley’s initiative, as reported in the Lewiston Tribune last Thursday.

Lindsley, when asked what play he’ll remember most about this season, pointed to one of Adams’ play calls against Nampa Christian.

“It was fourth and forever, and they spread out like we had to pass,” Lindsley said. “We ran a draw with Jake Kaschmitter, and I don’t know how many tackles he broke to convert that one.”

Lindsley said it exemplified the 2015 Bulldogs’ temperament — toughness and grit. Asked about the team’s personality, Adams pointed to the early surges GHS had against most opponents. “We got ahead of about everybody we played. I don’t think we trailed against anybody at our level.”

Lindsley noted how the team’s plans have evolved since the 2011 title. “Since then, we as a coaching staff have got better at studying the game,” he said.

Adams said he’s enjoying this championship more, but that he’ll be back to the football drawing board in a week or two. “We owe it to these kids to do the best we can for them,” Adams said.

Grangeville will hold its year-end football honors banquet Thursday night, Dec. 3, at the high school cafeteria.

The breaks didn’t work out as well for Prairie. That title game started with PHS driving as close to the opposing goal line as possible without scoring — and the play that kept the Pirates out of the end zone turned abruptly. It appeared to many observers — PHS partisans and non-aligned broadcasters alike — that the Pirates may have actually scored first. But there’s no way to know how a different ruling might have swayed the outcome.



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