Photo by John Fannin.
Grandview’s Lorenzo Sanchez looks for running room as teammate Zach Schloss (55) prepares to block a would-be tackler.
GRANDVIEW – Making the most of drives extended by their opponent’s penalties, the Grandview Greyhound football team scored a pair of first half touchdowns on the way to a 20-19 homecoming win over Toppenish last Friday night.
Trailing 6-0, Grandview’s first score came at the end of the first quarter on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Mendoza to Alex Torres. The Greyhounds benefitted from 30 yards in penalties surrendered by the Wildcats on the drive.
Four minutes into the second quarter, Grandview scored again when Mendoza found Angel Abarca alone in the end zone for a 19-yard TD toss. That drive, too, was sustained by a Toppenish penalty that gave Grandview a new set of downs when it otherwise would have been forced to punt.
In what proved to be the difference in the ball game, Grandview’s Alex Soberanes tacked on a two-point conversion when he snagged a pass from Mendoza.
Down 14-6, Toppenish scored just before the end of the first half but missed on the point after attempt to make it a 14-12 lead for Grandview at the half.
Toppenish controlled much of the tempo in the second quarter despite trailing, pounding away for 127 yards in total offense during the second stanza.
However, Grandview bent but didn’t break in forcing three turnovers.
Yet, it was a third quarter turnover going the other way that gave Toppenish a momentary lead, as the Wildcats intercepted a Grandview pass attempt and took it to the house the other way for a pick-six and a 19-14 advantage.
The Greyhounds quickly answered, mounting a drive in the waning moments of the third quarter and finding paydirt with 11:33 to play in the game when Adam Perez rumbled into the end zone on a six-yard TD run.
With nearly the entire fourth quarter still to play, Toppenish had its chances to take the lead back but failed to sustain a scoring drive.
The Wildcats’ last gasp chance came when they got the ball back with less than a minute to play and moved the ball to midfield before time expired.
Grandview defensive standouts who helped keep Toppenish at bay Friday night included Moses Ibarra with two sacks, Joey Arreola with a sack and Osbaldo Mejia with a fumble recovery.
On offense, Mendoza paced Grandview through the air with 143 yards passing. His favorite target was Abarca with 77 yards receiving.
“Angel is one of those guys whose presence gets the guys fired up,” Grandview Coach Rick Ramos said of having his sparkplug back in the line-up after suffering a shoulder injury.
Perez was Grandview’s leading rusher with 51 yards on the ground.
“We told the kids to keep playing to their potential,” Ramos said of his pep talk with the Greyhounds following Friday’s homecoming victory. “We’re a tough team and we’re getting them to believe that.”
Grandview (1-4, 2-4) travels to East Valley this Friday.