EC Preps

FOOTHILLERS TURN LIGHTS OUT ON WAR HAWKS

2018 EASTCOUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

MONRAY CANADY RUSHES PASSER / PHOTO COURTESY OF VANILLA GORILLA PHOTOGRAPHY

BY CHASE KARLO

SPECIAL TO ECPREP.COM

CIF DIVISION I

#12 GROSSMONT 44, #6 MADISON 42

Grossmont’s recent history in the playoffs has been a rough one. In 2014 the Foothillers led #1 seed LCC 21-7 but would lose the lead and eventually the contest 47-28. In 2015 they would have a big lead of 35-7 over Steele Canyon at halftime but the Cougars would roar back and shock Grossmont 39-35. In 2016 Grossmont would miss a field goal which would give Mission Hills a 49-48 victory in the Open Division Quarter-Finals, 2017 would see Grossmont within striking distance of shocking #1 seeded Mission Hills in the Open but would lose 52-42.

Fast forward to 2018 and Grossmont entered the playoffs as a #11 seed as they were switched from the #12 seed to avoid a league rematch vs Steele Canyon per rule, and would go on the road to face the #6 seeded Madison Warhawks.

The Warhawks who came in having lost a couple of games in a row gave the Foothillers hopes of catching them off guard. Indeed the Foothillers did so as they quickly raced out to a 31-7 lead with :45 remaining in the first half behind the legs of quarterback Jaime Odom who scored on runs of 3,6, and 24 yards. Madison would storm down the field and score with time expiring as Daniel Stokes found Keonte Springs on an 18-yard connection to make it 31-14 Grossmont at the break.

JAIME ODOM RUNNING / PHOTO BY VANILLA GORILLA PHOTOGRAPHY

ODOM SCORES / PHOTO COURTESY OF VANILLA GORILLA PHOTOGRAPHY

Things turned around for Madison in the second half as they came back starting with a long drive that was capped by a Springs 24-yard scamper. After a costly penalty hurt the Foothillers from a field goal the Warhawks took advantage and would cut the lead to 31-28 thanks to a Daniel Stokes 88-yard keeper. With the lead cut to 3 points with 1:30 remaining in the third quarter and Madison having all the momentum things were looking down for Grossmont and another playoff exit loomed.

But the Foothillers would fight back and drive down the field to extend the lead 10 points with 10:48 in the game on a Demari Crawford3-yard run. Madison came right back as Stokes again found Springs this time for 6 yards to make it 38-35 Grossmont with 7:28 left in the game.

Trailing, Madison was able to get its first break of the game as they stopped the Grossmont offense in its tracks and Stokes would zip his way past the Foothillers defense to the house for the 42-yard score to give Madison their first lead 42-38 with 3:10 remaining in the game. At this point of the contest, it looked like another loss and missed playoff opportunity for the Foothillers.

Grossmont didn’t give up though as they converted a key 4th and 12 conversion, Odom would then throw a perfect ball to Brody Schicker for 28 yards to regain the lead with :35 left in the game.

STADIUM LIGHTS GO OUT / PHOTO COURTESY OF VANILLA GORILLA PHOTOGRAPHY

Grossmont would miss an extra point to make it 44-42 which would give Madison the opportunity to win on a field goal. Madison would get a couple of big gains against Grossmont moving the ball all the way down to the 30-yard line with :07 left in the game. All of a sudden the strangest thing occurred as the lights went out. Both teams would have to wait 25 minutes for the lights to come back on and be able to finish the game.

GROSSMONT PLAYER RUNS / PHOTO COURTESY OF VANILLA GORILLA PHOTOGRAPHY

Once the lights came back on the Warhawks would get another opportunity as they gained 8-yards before attempting a 39-yard field goal to win the game. Fortunately for the Foothillers, the Madison kicker would miss the field goal to the left and Grossmont would finish the upset over Madison.

The luck had finally turned for Grossmont and it was a complete team effort. On the night, Odom had a monster game with 240 rushing yards on 27 carries and 3 touchdowns, he would also throw for 207 yards on 16-of-29 and 1 score.

His top targets on the night were Schicker who hauled in 4 balls for 55 yards and 2 touchdowns and Skip Waltower who caught 4 receptions for 72 yards.

On the other side for Madison, Stokes finished 11 rushes for 274 yards and 2 touchdowns and Springs had 15 carries for 75 yards and 2 TDs. Madison star running back Kenan Christian would not play after 1 carry early in the first quarter.

With the victory, the Foothillers move on to play #3 seed Helix who had the bye in the first round. It will be the first playoff musket game since 2004. The last time these two teams met the Highlanders led 28-0 at halftime when the game was called due to lightning.

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