GRANGEVILLE — The visiting Cole Valley Christian Chargers lived up to their nickname, with shocking defense and lightning-fast offense combining for a 37-0 shutout on the Bulldogs’ home field last Friday night, Nov. 1.
Cole Valley tilted the field in its favor by forcing four turnovers, and capitalized with 453 offensive yards, chiefly on big play touchdowns.
One of Grangeville’s most favorable gains — a punt downed at Cole Valley’s 1 yard line early in the second quarter — was called back due to a procedure penalty.
Cole Valley, meanwhile, played essentially without error, opting for a 31-yard field goal on its first drive. On its second, Cole Valley converted a fourth-and-1 with a quarterback keeper, then converted a fourth-and-four with a hard count drawing the Bulldogs off side. The Chargers’ rare mistake — fumbling the handoff on first down — went unpunished as they turned a fourth-and-14 from the GHS 21 into a touchdown pass and an extra point for 10-0. Cole Valley’s next possession followed the called-back punt, and advanced from the 20 to the 35 on first down. The next play went 65 yards for another passing touchdown, but the ensuing two-point try was stopped short, making it 16-0 not even two minutes into the second quarter.
Grangeville’s next possession saw the Bulldogs attempt their first throw of the contest — a play-action pass on which quarterback Tescher Harris was under pressure and every receiver was blanketed by the coverage.
“We put a lot of time into trying to figure out how to beat these guys,” GHS head coach Jeff Adams told the Free Press. “It was not a very good matchup for us. They have tons of speed, and we don’t. And they played flawlessly.”
The Bulldogs did make a bit of headway in short increments, advancing into Cole Valley territory early in the third quarter by way of handoff after handoff to running back Dane Lindsley. After GHS converted a fourth down, a botched snap led to a personal foul penalty that set the Bulldogs back; they nearly completed a deep throw on fourth-and-11, but after the turnover on downs, Cole Valley speedster Obi Gee broke a touchdown run 57 yards straight up the middle of the field. The Chargers added another kick for 23-0. They made it 30-0 with a methodical drive later in the third quarter. Cole Valley broke a swing pass down the visiting sideline for the final score, with the receiver cutting all the way across to the home sideline for a 60-yard touchdown.
“I think all the coaches in the Central Idaho League are licking our wounds,” Adams said. “As far as next year goes...we’ll get a large group of freshmen who went undefeated at the junior high level this year. We’re excited about that group. Our sophomore group this year is where all our numbers are, and on paper we have a great chance to continue to do well in the CIL. But it comes down to what these kids want to do. ... And I consider this year a success. We did win the league, and I’m proud of the kids for that.”
Grangeville finished 5-4.