GRANGEVILLE Mid-way through the regular season, the Bulldogs posted a one-sided win over McCall-Donnelly on their home field. They delivered a similar beat-down last Friday night, Oct. 30, winning 48-21 and ending the Vandals’ season during the first round of the 2A playoffs.
Though no significant rain fell at GHS during the game, the moisture in the air on the first cold evening of the season presented Grangeville’s potent ground attack with a heightened fumble risk, which bit the Bulldogs on McCall’s first score.
Fortunately for the home team, long before the ball bounced to Kaden Deluna, who returned it for a Vandal touchdown, Grangeville scored four times during the first quarter.
After Jack Lawrence ripped a 32-yarder, Jake Kaschmitter ran it in from two yards out, good for a 6-0 lead. On a night the visitors opted to throw on almost every down despite a slew of drops, Luke Stokes followed up with a 45-yarder and Lawrence punched in the conversion, making it 14-0.
McCall completed a couple of passes on the next series, but on the sixth play of the series, Lawrence sacked quarterback Ben Knudson to force a punt.
Grangeville’s next series began at the Bulldogs’ 37 and continued after a third down pass from Layton Harris to Stokes. Kaschmitter broke a big gainer with a spin move after a handoff up the middle, and Cole Lindsley had a big run called back for an illegal block penalty against the Bulldogs, but Stokes zipped 23 yards on the next play — a run that kept the Bulldogs from bogging down. McCall eventually forced a “red zone” third-and-seven, but Harris threw to Parks for the score, to which TJ Wiltse added an extra point kick.
The Vandals’ last series of the first quarter exemplified how their night had gone: pass (incomplete), pass (incomplete), sack, punt.
Grangeville’s Garrett Malone then exemplified how the Bulldogs’ first quarter had gone: a would-be tackler grabbed the tail of his No. 18 jersey, which stretched and stretched under the strain until the defender began to slide down the sideline on his belly. Malone churned until he reached the end zone, Wiltse added the point-after, and the rout was on.
When the Bulldogs appeared to lose their focus for a moment early in the second quarter, Deluna punished their lapse with a 10-yard fumble return.
GHS answered with a 60-yard kick return by Booker Bush, which led immediately to another short touchdown run by Kaschmitter — the second of his three scores, all of which came during the first half.
During the third quarter, Grangeville used a gadget play to spring lineman Jakob Layman down the visitors’ sideline, where he ran over one player and crashed all the way down to the McCall 15. From there, runs by Matt Ruhnke and Jon Chamorro set up Harris’ short sprint to the end zone.
After that, the visitors scored twice, as Grangeville’s fumbles followed invisible destinies into Vandal hands.
Coming — Grangeville (6-3) will put its playoff fate on the line for a 4 p.m. kickoff Friday, Nov. 6, at the Kibbie Dome, against Melba.
The Bulldogs last played Melba during the first round in 2011; GHS won that game 47-6. This season’s Mustangs have beaten two opponents Grangeville has also beaten: Melba beat Marsing 20-0 on Oct. 9, and beat McCall 26-6 on Oct. 23.
Grangeville beat Marsing 49-6 on Sept. 4.