Grant Thumps Shelby In Battle Of The Tigers
N3 Sports Team
Photos By Lisa Rau of Pin-Point-Photography
For the ninth year in a row the opener would feature Tiger vs., Tiger as the boys from Shelby traveled to Grant to try to avenge last year’s loss. Since a run to the semi-finals in 2013 Shelby has gone 2-16 and failed to put up a W last season.
Grant’s Tigers are coming off back to back 3-6 seasons and...
...have not sniffed a playoff game since the 2012 season when they fell to their rivals up the road, Newaygo in the first round.
The hosts were ushering in a new program under the tutelage of a new head coach in Darren Geraghty while welcoming in a large contingency of players from last year’s junior varsity team.
Shelby kicked off and the Grant team took over on their 34. On the first play quarterback Trenton Throop was thrown for a 5 yard loss. An off-sides penalty and a broken play made it 3rd and 13 before Throop found Ian Francisco for 22 yard gainer.
Two runs yielded little but Throop found a hole and shot through it for a first down. On the next play Jared Evans threw a great block to free up Marco Alvarez who sprinted 28 yards for the score. Angel Ochoa converted and less than four minutes in the game the Grant went up 7-0.
Shelby went three and out and on the punt Alvarez came through and tackled the punter for a loss. The next play Throop found an open Casey Geers and lofted a pass to him for a 14 yard score. Ochoa converted again and with 7 minutes left in the first quarter the Grant Tigers had forged a 14-0 lead.
Another 3 and out followed by a muffed punt and the Tigers took over on the 4 yard line. Two plays later Evans found paydirt and Ochoa split the uprights again to make it 21-0.
Shelby went to work again at their own 30 but could not generate any movement and punted it back to Grant who began at the 50.
Geers peeled off a 72 run that was called back on penalty but a pass from Throop three plays later found the hands of Geers and he shook off a tackle and went 46 yards for another score and another Ochoa conversion made it 28-0 just before the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was more of the same. Shelby’s offense could not generate anything and after the punt Grant took over on the 48 of the visitors. Throop faked a handoff on the third play and weaved his way 39 yards for the score. Ochoa boomed another one through and the rout had reached 35-0.
Shelby’s first play from scrimmage resulted in an interception by Jagarr Jenerou and Grant started again at mid field.
Sophomore Chase Lowry took over the qb duties and on 4th and 12 tossed a 30 yard pass to James Montney inside the Shelby 5. On the next play Lowry fought his way in for 6 and Ochoa continued his perfect night to make it 42-0.
With 43 seconds left in the half Shelby managed to post their only first down of the game but the next play ended the half and the teams went to the locker-room with the possibility of a running clock looming for the second half.
The second half started with Shelby receiving and once again going three and out so the home team began play at the visitor’s 40. On second down Geers broke loose for 32 yards. Two plays later Evans took it in from 4 yards out and with Ochoa’s 7th extra point the score went to 49-0.
The teams exchanged possessions on a missed field goal attempt by Ochoa and a fumble recovery by Jenerou. Gant lost possession two plays later on another fumble as the game started to get a little sloppy as the teams worked their way through the final quarter.
The one bright spot for Shelby was a breakaway pass that looked to put them on the board but for a diving tackle by Cameron Roesly. With the ball on the Grant 20 the Shelby team moved inside the 2, then Blake Jones knifed through to put the visitors on the board and after the failed conversion the score stood at 49-6 where it would remain.
The Tigers new spread offense was clicking Friday night against an overmanned Shelby squad. Throop was finding open receivers which really opened up the running game. Credit the linemen on offense and defense who controlled the trenches all night. Brendan Atwood, Ian Francisco, and Rylee Schultz often found their way into the Shelby backfield. And don't forget Angel Ochoa. His fancy footwork will likely continue to pay dividends for Coach Geraghty's squad
On Thursday the Tigers will travel north to take on Big Rapids in the CSAA Gold opener for both schools. The Cardinals will be coming off a 40-6 shellacking at the hands of the Vikings of Cadillac.