Photo by Andrew Ottoson
Grangeville beat Clarkston for the first time in recent memory with running backs running wild behind stout blocking by the Bulldogs’ offensive line last Friday night, Sept. 7. Pictured are (from left) linemen Wyatt Williams, William Nichols, Zach Forsmann and Bryden Brannan clearing a path for running back Brandon Stump.
As of Tuesday, September 11, 2018
GRANGEVILLE With a 26-7 win over Clarkston Friday night, Sept. 7, the Bulldogs are 3-0.
Noah Kaschmitter crashed into the endzone on a pass play from seven yards out for a 6-0 Grangeville lead about four minutes into the game. The early touchdown capped off a run-heavy series that revealed how the Bulldogs would approach the rest of the contest.
“I thought it was going to be a pretty physical game,” head coach Jeff Adams said. “I knew the Clarkston kids would be tough and it would come down to who was more physical in the trenches. And that’s what happened.”
After an exchange of punts, Clarkston scored when Theo Baiye broke a short pass down the home sideline for a 55-yard score with 42 seconds left in the first quarter.
“Except for that one big play, the defense played great,” Adams said.
The Bulldogs recovered the lead with a 48-yard touchdown pass from Tescher Harris to Booker Bush, and cemented it with a one-yard touchdown run by Jason Rose. Late in the third quarter, Bush scored again on a pass from Harris.
“Clarkston was way bigger,” Adams said, “and they just kept bringing them off the sideline. They tried to keep their guys fresh, which I can’t do. William Nichols is probably my smallest lineman — he goes about 155 — and he handled his business. He was outweighed by 70 pounds and the way he played showed the heart my kids have.”
Much of the substance of the contest consisted not of the scoring, but of Grangeville's bruising defense and ground game; the Bulldogs ran twice as often as they threw. They sprung Noah Kaschmitter for 107 yards and Brandon Stump for 96 rushing yards while accumulating 22 first downs as a team and dominating the time of possession.
“I’ve never really been able to run against Clarkston,” Adams said. “The size difference has been too much. I didn’t plan on running the ball too much, and I knew we’d have man coverage on Booker and Blake Darr on the outside. I planned on really using Stump out of the backfield. But when we got in the game, I saw how hard they were flowing and I made one adjustment to the running game. It really worked, and that was a huge surprise to me. Coach [Cody] Stoy and coach [Jeff] Lindsley on the headset said, ‘Keep running the football.’ To be able to do that to a team that big made me feel good.”
Coming — Grangeville (3-0) is scheduled to visit McCall next Friday, Sept. 14.
“We kind of handed it to them last year, and I don’t think they liked it,’ Adams said. “They’ve got a good coaching staff and tough kids, and we better be ready. This is a huge test for us. We want to go against power running and we’re going to get after it.”