As of Monday, November 13, 2017
CONNELL — The Granger Spartans saw their bid for a 1A State berth slip through their fingers Friday.
They were defeated 13-8 by the Eagles in the final 1:26 of the game.
Granger coach Gary Ely didn’t have statistics, but he said it was tough to see his team give up its 8-7 lead with so little time on the clock.
The lone scorer, and possibly the team’s most valuable player of the game was Ramon Olivera. He crossed the goal line on a 4-yard pass from Trennan Slade in the first quarter. Olivera also scored the extra 2 points on another Slade pass.
Connell scored in the first 2 minutes of the second quarter on a 75-yard drive Ely said.
After that, Ely said it was a battle. “We just couldn’t get anything going.”
It also didn’t help the Spartans to have one of its leaders playing unhealthy. Robert Berger wasn’t 100 percent, he said. “We saved him for defense.”
Even with Berger playing at less than full capacity, Ely praised the defense. “They played their best defense of the season.”
A bad snap on offense gave Connell the ball on the 1-yard line and the defense kept the Eagles from scoring. “Keanu (Cantu) never gave up,” the coach said.
The crux of the issue in stopping the Eagles’ offense became penalties.
Drawing the yellow flag provided Connell more momentum than Ely would have liked.
“They had two nice drives and that’s all they needed,” he said.
The defense also intercepted the Eagles four times. Cantu stole the ball twice, Olivera kept the receiver from getting it once, and Slade also snatched a pass intended for a receiver.