Grant nips Beaverton 35-28
- Stephen Alexander
- Portland Tribune - Sports
For the second time in two weeks, Grant High came from behind to win at the Grant Bowl.
After last week's 51-27 win over Aloha, the Generals trailed Beaverton 14-7 in the second quarter Friday afternoon.
Grant fought back, though, with long plays touchdown plays and suffocating defense that stopped Beaverton from scoring inside the 10-yard line three times and helped the Generals surge ahead 28-20.
In the fourth quarter, the Beavers tied the score 28-28. But Grant quarterback Paris Penn then completed a 71-yard touchdown pass to Jack Fitzpatrick-Blackmun to give the Generals a 35-28 win.
Despite the victory, Generals coach Diallo Lewis said he was not pleased with the way his team (3-1) played.
'Actually, I felt like we took a step back from last week,' Lewis said. 'Too many penalties. We had two turnovers. That in itself, we're taking steps backward.'
Penn said that winning again after being behind spoke to the character of the team.
'Our team, we just don't quit,' Penn said. 'We just wanted to win. Our guys keep coming back, and we just never give up.'
Beaverton opened up the scoring on its first drive of the game when Nick Houlemard ran in a three-yard TD.
The Generals evened the score 7-7 as L.J. Sly-Cain scored his first of three TDs. Sly-Cain took an inside handoff, burst through the line and outran everyone on the field, 74 yards into the end zone.
'It was just a basic dive,' Sly-Cain said. 'The line opened it up, I just ran full speed and broke through.'
The Beavers made it inside the 5 on each of their next two possessions. The Generals' defense shut them down, each time. Beaverton also reached the 7 in the third quarter before missing a field goal.
'We just balled out,' Sly-Cain said, of the Generals' goal-line defense. 'We played like men, like we should have, and we just went to battle.'
The Beavers went up 14-7 with 5:15 remaining in the second quarter, when Devon Adams returned a punt 37 yards for a TD.
On the Generals' first play after the Beaverton touchdown, Sly-Cain scored a 62-yard TD on a screen pass from Penn.
'The line did a good job. The quarterback made a good pass,' Sly-Cain said. 'I just got the ball and ran.'
Penn put the Generals up 21-14 on Grant's first series of the second half. He found Cordell Harris open on a wheel route for a 63-yard TD.
Late in the third quarter, Beaverton picked off a pass at its 47. The turnover turned into a touchdown when Malik Fontleroy-Smith scored on a 12-yard run. The Beavers missed the PAT, however, and Grant still led 21-20.
The Generals gave themselves a 28-20 cushion with 5:19 remaining in the game when Sly-Cain scored his third TD on a three-yard run up the middle.
Sly-Cain finished with six carries for 133 yards.
'I just followed behind my line,' he said. 'I couldn't have done it without them. They opened up holes and created space for me to get loose.'
With 3:14 remaining, Beavers running back Kyle Eckrosh scored a two yard touchdown and Brandon Cornwell converted the 2-point PAT with a run up the middle to even the score at 28-28.
Penn was not going to let the game go into overtime, though.
With just over 1:30 remaining, Grant faced a third-and-16 from its 29. Penn dropped back and completed a slant pass to Fitzpatrick-Blackmun. The senior receiver slipped a tackle and was gone, 71 yards to the end zone.
'I just got open, tried to make the big play, get in the end zone,' Fitzpatrick-Blackmun said. 'I saw the outside cornerback, and he was coming up, so I just tried to give him a little move and get as many yards as I could.'
Penn finished 6 of 13 passing for 226 yards and three TDs, with one interception.
'I tried to keep my composure,' Penn said. 'If (my teammates) see me down, they're going to play down. So as long as I keep my composure, we're good.'
Going into next week's road game against Heritage High, Lewis wants to see the Generals play more consistently.
'We still want to become a consistent ball club,' he said. 'We've got to be consistent. And we've got to continue to get better. We'll get there.'