East County Sports

Eagles get encouragement to go for win over Cougars

By Mark Meadows

© East County Sports.com

EL CAJON (9-12-15) — The Steele Canyon High Cougars (1-2) visited Valley Stadium and the Granite Hills High Eagles (2-1) on Friday (Sept. 11).

It was a game that had something for everyone, including an ending that nobody saw coming. When the buzzer sounded Granite Hills would prevail over Steele Canyon, 25-24


Granite Hills’ Riley Reyes is brought down by Steele Canyon Friday night. / Don De Mars Photography

The Cougars would draw first blood on their 3rd drive. MALCOLM ANDERS would start with a 7-yard run. QB THOMAS FISHBURNE would find SEAN TODD for a short gain. Todd would later have an 8-yard run on a 3rd and 8 from the Eagles 30-yard line.
PIERRE ALEXANDER would convert on a 4th and 1 and then with 11:33 left in the second quarter Alexander would finish off the drive with a power burst for 17 yards and a touchdown.

Granite Hills took a much quicker path to the end zone. Sitting on their own 13 yard line QB JACOB SIEGFRIED got the ball into the hands of wideout RILEY REYES. Reyes darted to the near sideline and broke it back towards the
middle. Reyes made one final weave to the corner and capped an 87-yard TD reception, leaving the score at 7-7 with 10:57 left in the half.

“We noticed in film that they pressed on the corners,” Riley said. “When they played off with no one over the top, we thought we could take advantage.”

Steele Canyon answered back on the following drive – a 10-play drive that would take 6 minutes. The key play was a Fishburne pass to Todd (4 catches, 63 yards) for 46 yards down to the Granite 30. Todd would eventually finish this drive with an 11-yard TD scamper to put Steele Canyon up 14-7 with 5:54 left in the second quarter.

It looked as if the Cougars were about to take complete control of this game when they recovered an onsides kick on the ensuing kickoff. Although the drive sputtered at the Granite Hills 26, they still had their sights set on a 42-yard field goal.

The Eagles’ LYNDON FRANKLIN had other ideas. Timing the center snap perfectly, Franklin blasted up the left side of the formation and easily blocked
the kick.

The Eagles took over on their own 33-yard line. And went backwards. After a couple of spot fouls they found themselves in serious trouble with 3rd down and 27 from their own 18. But in what would become a recurring theme, Steele Canyon let them off the hook.

Back to back pass interference calls allowed the Eagles to restart their drive at their own 48. They would cash in before the half on a BRYCE STRICKLAND 26-yard field goal. With only 10.1 second left in the half, Granite had cut the score to 14-10.


Steele Canyon’s David Pangelinan scores a touchdown Friday night at Granite Hills. / Don De Mars Photography

But Steele Canyon would put the screws to Granite again to begin the 2nd half.  COLTON LARCEVAL would intercept the Eagles on the first drive. Four plays later ALEXANDER RAYA would convert on 34-yard field goal to make it 17-10.

On the next Eagles drive AZIZ HANNA recovered a Granite Hills fumble. And the Cougars would convert that into points.

This time PIERRE ALEXANDER (16 rushes, 80 yards) got loose on 2 runs of 14 yards. On 3rd and 10 on the 17, Fishburne found tight end DAVID PANGELINAN wide open on a corner route for a 17-yard TD pass to stretch the lead to 24-10.

After having a number of plays called back on penalties and back-to-back turnovers, things looked grim for Granite Hills.

But THOMAS YOUMOG and Reyes had other plans. Youmog (20 rushes, 105 yards) had 4 rushes for 20 yards on this drive. And then from their own 40-yard line, quarterback Siegfried dialed up an old friend. Reyes. On virtually the same play as their 87-yard hookup, Siegfried looked left this time and Reyes (2 catches, 147 yards 2 TD) weaved his magic for 60 yards and suddenly the Eagles were back in the game.

“We had some mistakes on penalties,” Youmog stated. “But it was important to answer back.”

The Granite Hills defense would finally find its legs and author three straight stands, setting the stage for an improbable finish for the hosts.
Starting on their own 37-yard line with 4:23 seconds left in the game, Siegfried got it started with a 6-yard run. Franklin would rush for 7 and 3 yards. Later on a 4th and 2 on the Cougar 39, Siegfried would sneak for 2 yards and a first down. Siegfried would also convert on 3rd and 10 with an 11- yard rush. But time was running out and they were 26 yards away and down by 7.


Granite Hills’ Lyndon Franklin carries against Steele Canyon Friday night. / Don De Mars Photography

Granite Hills then dialed up a little used shovel pass from Siegfried to Youmog. It worked to perfection. Covering 21 yards and down to the 5-yard line, Granite Hills was suddenly looking at a first and goal from the 5-yard line. And Youmog would do the honors with 35.5 seconds left, cutting back up the middle to hit paydirt and a 24-23 score.

All that remained was the PAT and we were probably headed to overtime. But a funny thing happened on the way to the PAT. Steele Canyon was flagged for encroachment. The ball was placed half the distance and now rested on the 1 1/2 yard line.GH-SC 4

Granite Hills called time out to talk things over. With the encouragement of every Eagle fan in the stands, coach KELLAN COBBS decided to go for the two point conversion, and the win. The call? Jacob Siegfried on the quarterback sneak. And he was in with ease. Granite Hills 25-24 in a thriller.

“We have great confidence in our offensive line,” Cobbs said. “If we can’t get a yard and a half, we don’t deserve to win.”

Steele Canyon coach SCOTT LONGERBONE knows one got away, but finds some good in this game. “I told our guys that we can use this game two ways:  A springboard to the future or give up,” he said. “I think we’ll bounce back and get to work.”

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