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Time to regroup

Back-to-back losses to PIL powers Lincoln and Grant leave Southridge ready to regroup and get ready for Metro play
by: MILES VANCE, LET ‘ER FLY — Southridge senior quarterback Tom Farinacci lets loose a pass while pressured by Grant’s Brandon Vance during the Skyhawks’ 28-14 loss to the General at Grant on Friday.

PORTLAND - Grant hit the ground running in its Friday home game against Southridge, and the Generals just kept running the rest of the way to its 28-14 win over the sixth-ranked Skyhawks.

Grant (3-0) scored on its first offensive play Friday, scored again on its third play and used that fast start to pave the way to its third straight victory of 2006, while Southridge lost for the second straight time and ended the non-league portion of its schedule at 2-2.

'I think they came out really well in the first half and in the second half,' said Southridge senior defensive back Tyler Smith. 'They came out really hard and we weren't able to match that intensity.'

'Those two touchdowns gave them the momentum of the game and we didn't come back on them,' added senior tailback David Smith, who finished with 42 yards rushing and one touchdown. 'They just played harder than us.'

The Generals got things rolling less than two minutes into the game when, following a Southridge punt, Grant quarterback Andre Broadous found running back Alex Melson open in the right flat and Melson raced past the Skyhawk defense for a 49-yard touchdown.

Southridge drove as far as the Grant 24-yard line on its ensuing possession before turning the ball over on downs, and after that, the Generals immediately stomped down on the accelerator again. This time, Broadous hit Bryan Butcher for 40 yards to the Skyhawk 36, and on the next play, Broadous raced around right end, broke a tackle and sped 36 yards to score for a 14-0 lead.

The Skyhawks misfired again on their next possession, but got new life when Broadous was sacked by Tyler Leonard and fumbled the ball away to lineman David Oppat at the Grant 9-yard line. Kevin Coleman then ran seven yards to the Grant 2, and two plays later, fullback Paul Werhane banged in to score. Mitch Edwards' extra point cut the Grant lead to 14-7 with 10 minutes, 27 seconds left in the opening half.

Neither team scored again in the first half, with each defense coming through with an interception, but when the third quarter arrived, it was Grant that struck first again. The Generals took the opening series of the second half and marched 62 yards to score, 32 of those on a Broadous-to-Isaiah Buchanan completion over the middle and the final yard on a dive by Grant Schuberg for a 21-7 lead.

Southridge advanced as far as the Grant 21 on its next possession, but turned the ball over on downs when Skyhawk quarterback Tom Farinacci's fourth-down completion to Tyler Harman came up three yards short of a first. Two series later, the Generals struck again, getting a 48-yard completion from Broadous to Karl Acker that took them to the Southridge 16, and on the next play, Broadous took a keeper around left end, broke a tackle and scored for a 28-7 edge with 1:16 left in the third quarter.

The Skyhawks answered with their best drive of the game, marching 72 yards (including a 24-yard burst by Coleman) to score, cutting Grant's lead to 28-14 on David Smith's three-yard TD run.

Southridge would not see the end zone again, though. The Skyhawks came up short on fourth-down conversions on each of their final two possessions and the Generals ran out the clock to win.

'We didn't execute a lot of stuff, but they had us schemed up on offense really good,' David Smith said. 'Their defense pretty much knew everything we were doing so it was hard to capitalize on offense.'

For the game, Grant rushed for 219 yards led by Broadous' 105 yards and 85 by Kasseem Osheroff. Broadous also threw for 223 yards, averaging more than 37 yards a completion on his six successful passes.

For Southridge, Coleman led Skyhawk rushers with 71 yards on 12 carries, Farinacci completed 14-of-29 passes with one interception for 166 yards, and Harman made six catches for 85 yards.