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McCall QB Knudson’s big plays break Bulldogs; GHS offense to realign

2A Football

— McCall’s 16-9 win over GHS last Friday night, Sept. 16, is leading to significant shake-ups in how the Bulldogs will go about their business, starting with the new format the coaching staff headed by Jeff Lindsley implemented in practice Monday night.

“We hate to do this, especially in week five, and Booker Bush has done everything we’ve asked him to do,” Lindsley said. “The effort has been there by all players, but the execution in our run blocking hasn’t.”

Lindsley said Bush will move to wide receiver, where he projects as perhaps Grangeville’s best. Underclassmen Chad Simmons and Tescher Harris will vie for the primary passer position.

Two big plays by Vandals quarterback Ben Knudson during the final minute took down the Bulldogs: he fired a 50-yard pass to wide receiver Logan Spade to set up a scoring chance, then caught the go-ahead touchdown on a trick play.

Knudson pitched the ball to running back Miguel Rodriguez, and as the GHS defense closed in, Rodriguez threw to Knudson, who had slipped out of the backfield unnoticed into the end zone to snag the winning score.

“On the long pass, we had blown coverage,” Lindsley said. “The scoring play was my fault. It caught everybody off-guard, especially me.”

Neither team led by more than one score. GHS opened with defensive points, tallying a safety when Knudson was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone.

Before halftime, McCall went ahead on a Knudson keeper. Grangeville regained the advantage during the third quarter, on a touchdown run by Luke Stokes.

Five fumbles — some in scoring position — cost the Bulldogs, as did penalties. The misplays left the lead narrow enough for McCall to break.

“We’ve got tough kids, but McCall was stronger and more conditioned,” Lindsley said. “Their coach got a strength and conditioning assistant from their school board and they had great participation during the off-season.”

The McCall-Donnelly roster listed few differences from the squad GHS had beaten by a combined 96-29 in two games last year. The Vandals are in the 2A classification, so there’s a chance the Bulldogs might meet them again this fall.

Coming — Grangeville (1-3) is set to host Parma at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23.


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