MOXEE - Two quick Red Devil scores to open the contest proved the difference in the Grandview football team's 46-32 loss at East Valley Friday night.
The hosts returned the game's opening kick-off for a touchdown then, after forcing a Grandview three-and-out, needed just one play on a touchdown bomb to go up 13-0 in the first few minutes of play.
"Our plan was to play a possession game, to kill some clock and have sustained drives," noted Greyhound Coach Dustin Lamb. "But that went out the window with the way the game started."
Grandview answered with a scoring drive, capped by an eight-yard Brandon Artz touchdown toss to Marty Guillen.
That closed the first quarter scoring with the 'Hounds down just 13-7.
East Valley opened the margin back up to two touchdowns with a score early in the second. Trailing 21-7, Grandview pushed the ball into Red Devil territory and was poised to pull back to within a single score.
That set the stage for what Lamb called the "most horrific non-call ever."
A 'Hound receiver was tackled in the open field while an Artz pass was still in the air. With the Grandview receiver out of the way - and an apparent pass interference penalty not called, according to Lamb - an East Valley corner snagged the pass and returned it for a touchdown to vault the Red Devils to a 29-7 halftime lead.
The two sides traded scores in the third quarter to leave Grandview trailing 36-14 heading into the final 12 minutes.
The Greyhound offense came to life in the final quarter, connecting for 18 points in that span. "We just came out ready to play," Lamb said of his team's surge in the fourth. "The kids didn't give up, they played with more passion and pride."
Though Grandview will still advance to the District playoffs as the CWAC South's fourth seed, the East Valley contest was an opportunity to finally crack the league's top three.
Like last year, the Greyhounds' three league losses were to the top three teams - Connell, East Valley and Othello.
Though the 2005 league season repeated history for Grandview (3-3, 4-4), Lamb feels his team took a step forward in gaining confidence to compete with the league's best.
The Greyhounds travel to Seattle this Friday to close out the regular season in a non-league tilt at Bonnie Lake. The 'Hound road show continues next Friday, Nov. 4, to Leavenworth to play Cascade, the CWAC North's second seed, in a District playoff.
Grandview received good news in preparation for its playoff run. Running backs Frankie Medina and J.R. Camacho and linebacker Blake Carpenter are recovering from earlier injuries and all three should be available for the loser-out playoff game in Leavenworth.
Grandview - Artz 29-49-313, four touchdowns, one interception.
Grandview - Chester 4-16, one touchdown; Kevin Concienne 9-135; Matt Concienne 4-29, Guillen 2-16, one touchdown; James Vela 7-101, one touchdown.
Grandview - Vela 11-42, M. Concienne 3-15, Artz 3-11.