Related: Week 2 State Top 25 Scoreboard
In a top 10 matchup that would have been nice to see at the end of last season, defending CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division II champion and state No. 5 Folsom (2-0) went on the road and defeated defending Division I state champion and state No. 10 Granite Bay (0-1) 30-14.
Folsom’s offense gets all the attention, but defense told the story in this game, which was the debut of Granite Bay head coach Skip Albano, who has replaced Ernie Cooper in that role after Cooper had been head coach since the school opened.
On the opening kickoff, the Grizzlies (who entered on a 12-game winning streak) moved the ball down the field behind running back Tony Ellison, but they declined a chance for a long field goal attempt to go for it on fourth down. On the play, Ellison took the snap and rolled right and while pressured, his pass was intercepted by Folsom’s Calvin Gardner. He raced 77 yards down the left sideline as the Bulldogs took a 7-0 lead before their offense even saw the field.
Just like the Grizzlies, the Bulldogs’ first offensive possession also ended with an interception as talented junior linebacker Cameron Smith was everywhere early on. His interception of Jake Browning and his return gave the Grizzlies great field position. It would take them just three plays to find the end zone when senior Josh Neal connected with senior Marc Ellis for their first of two touchdown connections on the night with a 23-yard toss to the right corner of the end zone.
Folsom’s offense finally got going at the end of the first quarter, as it went on a nine-play drive that ended with Browning finding Jason Deguara for a 3-yard touchdown toss. Browning passed for 237 yards and two touchdowns while also being intercepted twice.
Granite Bay responded with a lengthy drive that saw the Grizzlies run 15 plays and take over six minutes off the clock before an interception by Bailey Laolagi on his own 5-yard line ended the drive. Folsom then went on a long drive of its own (74 yards on 11 plays) with Laolagi punching it in from a yard out to extend the lead to 20-7. Laolagi finished with 120 yards rushing and the one touchdown.
Folsom’s defense was the most impressive unit on the night as it had four interceptions off of three different passers while the special teams unit also recovered a fumble on a short kickoff to set up a field goal late in the first half.
Cal-Hi Sports Analysis
Looking at the final score and seeing 30 points you would assume the Bulldogs’ offense was up to their normal exploits but the Grizzlies’ defense, led by linebacker Cameron Smith, really was making things tough. They limited Browning from having much time to throw the ball. In the press box, you could hear the Folsom coaching staff yelling that “they are making us run the football” and were not happy for a majority of the game.
Browning didn’t put up the big passing numbers that he seems to do on a weekly basis, but wasn’t helped with several drops from his receivers.
Josh Neal started the game at quarterback for the Grizzlies and took most of the snaps under center. Senior Taylor Peterson also saw some time, had a nice touch throwing the ball for most of the game, but two ill-advised passes killed two drives that could have had the game in limbo in the final minutes.
Despite their offensive struggles on Friday, the Bulldogs remain the top team in the section but how the Grizzlies stack up compared to the rest of the section now seems questionable. No one is going to count out Granite Bay (especially after last year), but teams like Elk Grove, Pleasant Grove, Del Oro (which is playing on Saturday morning), Stockton St. Mary’s and perennial power Grant have all won big games so far.