Win-hungry Griffins fill up on Fullerton 19-13

David

Grossmont linebacker Lakeem Lewis brings down Fullerton's quarterback while #55 Vince Epenesa gives chase (Photo: Andy Wilhelm)

 Hurst 

David Hurst
David Hursts

GROSSMONT COLLEGE— Coming off two disappointing losses, the Griffins took care of business in a 19-13 win over Fullerton last Saturday.  Grossmont is now 3-5 and 1-2 in conference play. In a game full of penalties (the teams combined for 21 accepted penalties for a total of 217 yards), Grossmont scored in every fashion (touchdown, field goal, safety) during the third quarter and held on to win the game.

The Griffins were first on the board with a five-play. 42-yard second quarter drive. The drive ended in spectacular fashion. Lamont Moore came out of seemingly nowhere to snag Mike Karls’ 21-yard lob into the end zone, away from the waiting hands of a Fullerton defender. Moore’s athletic touchdown reception put the Griffins up 7-0. Fullerton answered the Griffins in the ensuing drive going 10 plays for 72 yards ending with a three-yard walk in for the score and tying the game 7-7 at the half.

With 10:51 left in the third quarter, Grossmont Punter Stephen Mos had his punt downed at the Fullerton 1-yard line. The Griffin defense took immediate advantage as Josh Cox stuffed the Fullerton ball carrier in the end zone for a safety. Grossmont received the free kick and drove to the Fullerton 18-yard line before settling on a Strickland 35-yard field goal to go up 12-7. After a Fullerton punt, Grossmont scored in its third different way of the quarter, this time on an explosive 80-yard pass play from Karls to Ashante Boyd, who burned his coverage and put the Griffins up 19-7 going into the final stanza.

After trading punts to begin the fourth quarter, Fullerton drove 82 yards in 10 plays, scoring on a 22-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was blocked by James Triplett and the Griffins clung to a 19-13 lead.  Grossmont then marched on a 10-play 49-yard drive. Though the drive ended with a missed Strickland field goal, it took 8:25 seconds off the clock. Fullerton took the ball on the Grossmont 29-yard line and drove down to the Griffin 26 yard line when Shane Pennix made a game clinching interception with 34 seconds left in the game.  

“I read the play, I saw the wide receiver behind me, I thought this is going to be a screen.” Pennix continued, “I was just waiting and he (the quarterback) threw it and the ball came into my hands, and we won.”

It was a fitting end for the Grossmont defense as the unit registered six sacks, two interceptions, and six additional tackles for loss. Pennix and Lakeem Lewis each had two sacks.  Pennix and Cox each registered an interception. David Edgerson led the unit with eight tackles.  Offensively the Griffens were solid. Karls went 12-21 for 174 yards with two touchdown and no interceptions. Boyd had two receptions for 84 yards and the big 80-yard touchdown. Karls was also led the team in rushing yards with 55 on 12 carries and a long run of 25 yards. The Griffins did not commit a turnover.

But it was the Griffin defense that stood strong on Saturday. “It’s a team thing,” said Pennix, “but when the offense is struggling the defense has to pick them up and we have to lead. That’s what we do, defense wins championships.”

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Hurst is managing editor of the GC Summit.  He may be contacted at [email protected]