Grangeville strikes back

Grangeville's Luke Stokes crashes into the end zone with the decisive points of the 29-28 overtime victory over McCall the Bulldogs claimed during the first round of 2A football playoffs Friday night, Oct. 28.

MCCALL — All eyes were on Noah Kaschmitter after reserve quarterback Chad Simmons scrambled into the end zone with a vengeance on the second-to-last play of Grangeville's 29-28 overtime triumph Friday night at McCall. Kaschmitter had been the main man the Bulldogs turned to when in need of a few yards, and Grangeville coaches and players later said they had indeed called his number.

But after McCall got a look at the formation Grangeville brought to the line of scrimmage for what would either way be the decisive two-point try -- succeed and win and the season continues, fall short and lose and the season's over -- the Vandals called time out. That's when GHS offensive mastermind Jeff Adams petitioned the players with a different idea: would they hand off to Luke Stokes instead?

The Bulldogs took ownership of that idea, head coach Jeff Lindsley said, and they blocked it perfectly. Stokes said that he had two things to look for -- and though he saw the lane to the outside open up as expected, he had one tough final yard to get. One of the key blockers on the play -- Justin Fogleman -- shoved a would-be tackler into the end zone, and Stokes, in the McCall player's grasp, went with him.

The game flow had been tit-for-tat all night, as McCall opened the scoring much as the Vandals had closed out their early-season win over the Bulldogs: with a trick play factoring prominently into their scoring drive. Grangeville answered with a series that had the McCall defense scrambling. Details on these and the other scoring drives will be in print on Wednesday, Nov. 2.

Next Friday night, Grangeville will play a 2A state quarterfinal road game at Declo.

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