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Grant has more fireworks on the field, trumps Cards 53-26

A fireworks show lit up the night sky like the Fourth of July on Friday at Lincoln High at the end of a dedication ceremony for the Cardinals' newly resurfaced artificial turf field.

The PIL 6A game between Lincoln and Grant had its share of fireworks, too.

Through the pouring rain, Grant quarterback Paris Penn threw four touchdown passes and running back Bryant Peek Jr. ran for three TDs to lead the Generals to a 53-26 victory over the Cardinals.

'We continue to improve,' Generals coach Diallo Lewis said. 'Our goal is to just always strive for excellence and be our best.'

The Generals (7-2) took a 14-0 lead early in the first quarter.

On Grant's first possession, Penn put the Generals up 6-0 when, after a Lincoln lost fumble, he tossed a 47-yard TD pass to fullback Daniel Halverson.

Penn then connected with Cordell Harris for a 39-yard TD pass and Peek Jr. ran in the 2-point conversion.

The Cardinals (5-4) fought back, for a time.

Lincoln made the score 14-6 when quarterback Johnny Williams connected with Jonathan Haley for a 14-yard TD.

'I was taking what they gave me,' Williams said. 'We had open guys, I just had to hit them.'

Lincoln running back Andrew Ellsworth then took a 1-yard dive into the end zone to make the score 14-12 at the end of the first quarter.

The Cardinals would not score again until the fourth quarter, though, when Williams threw a 27-yard TD pass to Mike Ferguson and Ellsworth ran in a 1-yard TD.

'Our line was working hard the whole game,' Ellsworth said. 'They weren't giving up. We got our assignments down and moved guys out of the way when we needed to and got some open holes.'

In the middle quarters, Grant scored 33 unanswered points.

'We didn't execute very well, and we gave them some opportunities, but they also made opportunities,' Lincoln coach Mike Fanger said.

In the second quarter, Penn connected with Jack Fitzpatrick-Blackmun for touchdowns of 24 and 27 yards.

'Our receivers were making plays,' Penn said. 'They ran crisp routes and got open. I found a groove early.'

Peek Jr. added a 1-yard TD run, and the Generals went into halftime leading 32-12.

On the first play from scrimmage in the second half, Nathan Halverson scored on an incredible 62-yard TD to put the Generals up 39-12. Halverson took a sweep to the right side, saw a wall of Lincoln tacklers, reversed field and exploded down the right sideline.

Peek Jr. scored on a 1-yard dive and finished the scoring with a 15-yard sweep.

'Just all-around good blocks every time I touched the ball," he said.

Both teams will now turn their focus to the Oregon School Activities Association playoffs.

Fanger said he is confident that Lincoln can make some noise.

'I like our team,' he said. 'It didn't show here tonight, but we've played some of our best football the last two weeks.

The Generals could be poised for a run at the state title.

'If they play mistake-free football and take care of the ball, they're going to be a tough out in the playoffs,' Fanger said. 'I know they'll represent the PIL very well.'

Penn said he is ready to take on any team that gets in the Generals' way.

'We're rolling,' Penn said. 'Everybody is standing in our way, and I just feel we can knock everybody down and get to our goal.'