Defense, Penn solid as Grant gets victory over Redmond
- Stephen Alexander
- Portland Tribune - Sports
Redmond High scored touchdowns on its opening drive of both the first and second half, but other than that, it was all Grant.
The Generals rode the legs and arm of quarterback Paris Penn to a 28-14 win Thursday at Lincoln High's newly rebuilt turf field.
Penn, who has had a big season, had another sensational night. He had 15 carries for 308 yards and a touchdown. He could have had 51 more yards and another touchdown, but he had a run called back for a holding penalty. Penn also completed 10 of 27 passes for 127 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Penn's first score came in the middle of the first quarter. With Grant trailing 7-0, Penn took the snap on the Generals' 14-yard-line. The 6-1, 185 pounder ran a designed draw. He got through the line and broke the play to the right sideline. Lowering his shoulder, Penn broke a tackle at midfield and was gone on what was an 86-yard romp to the end zone.
'My offensive linemen gave me a good block up the middle and then my receivers sprung me outside,' Penn said. 'I just did the rest of the work.'
Grant (5-2) had its moments of being human. The Generals had numerous penalties and turned the ball over three times, twice in the red zone.
'We've got to do a better job taking care of the football,' Grant coach Diallo Lewis said. 'Three turnovers tonight, multiple penalties ... we've got to be consistent in our play. And that's kind of been the thing all year. We've got to find consistency.
'We'll have stretches in there, we'll have two series or a quarter or a half. But we've got to get to a place where we're putting four quarters together. And we have the ability to do it. We've just got to string it together and do it for four quarters.'
The Generals turned over the ball for the first time on their opening drive, when Penn threw a pick on the 9-yard line.
Redmond (2-5) capitalized. Two plays later, Daulton Hanks connected with running back Jordan Harding, who released out of the backfield. Harding outran the Grant defense and took the ball in for an 86-yard TD to put the Panthers up 7-0.
Grant fumbled the ensuing kickoff. But the Generals' defense held firm, forcing Redmond a turnover on downs.
In the second quarter, Penn set up the Generals' second touchdown with a 40-yard run. Grant would get to the 1-yard-line before giving the ball to Bryant Peek Jr. on a dive.
'The line did get a good push,' Peek said. 'But it's not just about getting a good push. You've got to battle through the linebackers, and I just did what I had to do and got in.'
Out of a swinging-gate formation, Penn took the PAT snap and passed to Cordell Harris to put Grant up 15-7.
Grant took a 22-7 lead into halftime when Penn completed a 5-yard TD pass to Harris.
'I saw the linebacker blitz and saw Cordell spring open,' Penn said. 'I hit him right there as fast as I could.'
Redmond opened the second half with a 87-yard drive that was capped off with Harding scoring on a 1-yard run up the middle.
But after getting to within 22-14, the Panthers could get nothing else the rest of the night.
'Our defense played well,' Lewis said.
Grant scored the last touchdown with 30 seconds remaining in the third quarter. L.J. Sly-Cain took a handoff from the 5 and plunged into the end zone.
'I couldn't have done it without the line,' Sly-Cain said. 'They got that push, opened up holes. I just used my vision and my speed to get the job done.'
Grant, a top-10 team in the Class 6A ranks, has eight days to prepare for their Portland Interscholastic League rivalry game on Friday, Oct. 21 at 5A Jefferson.
'Come Friday, we should be able to have a perfection game,' Penn said. 'That's what we think every weekend. Every week, week in, week out, (we want to) have good practices - come out there, run our scheme and execute on Friday.'