Saturday, December 20, 2008

Live from CIF Open Division bowl game: Long Beach Poly vs. Grant-Sacramento

Well everyone, that brings the season to an end. Congratulations to the Grant Pacers, the Open Division champs. Being doubted by almost every single person in California seems to have been the best medicine for a Grant team that I think was certainly the best I've seen this year. All props to the Pacers. We hope you had fun following the action, and we'll see ya back on our normal blog soon.

Grant finishes their season undefeated at 14-0, knocking off the No. 1 ranked team in the state. Very impressive from this vantage point. Poly finishes 14-1.


Grant drive (36.5 seconds in fourth): Pacers take over their own 41. Poly has just one timeout left. Koniseti takes a knee, and Poly is called for offsides on the snap. It's 1st-5 with 36.5 seconds left. Koniseti takes a knee and it looks like the clock is going to run out.

Poly drive (1:06 in fourth): Kickoff goes out of bounds and Poly chose to make the Pacers kick again. Poly ends up losing 9 yards and 5 seconds on the decision. Instead of starting at the 40, they'll begin at their own 31. Fennell completes McKay for a 19-yard pass a first down at the 50. There's a stoppage in play as a Grant player is shaken up at midfield. Howard was hurt, he walks off. Koniseti is in at free safety now. Fennell dropped back and managed to throw an incompletion with three Grant players hanging on him. 2nd-10. A swing pass to Barner falls off his fingertips. It was actually a good thing for Poly because the play was going nowhere. Fennell tries a screen pass and it falls incomplete. It comes down to 4th-10 from midfield with 44.3 seconds to go...Poly takes a timeout. Warren is back in the game on defense. Fennell completed it to Clay very close to the sticks. There will be a measurement. It's short by about three chain-links. Grant takes over on downs.

Grant drive (4:20 in fourth): A false start to begin the drive. 1st and 15 from the 27. Koniseti is forced to throw on the run and his dump pass to the tight end is dropped. On second down, Butler gets a big hole to the left and picks up 12 to the 39-yard line. It'll be 3rd-3. Koniseti completes a screen to McCauley who breaks two tackles and rambles to a first down at the LB 46. Butler gashes through a big hole again and picks up 21 yards to the LB 25. Another first down. Koniseti runs the same screen pass he used two plays ago to McCauley. This time McCauley picks up 8. Poly calls timeout with 2:13 on the clock. Grant will have 2nd-2 from the 17 when they come back. Koniseti keeps the ball and gets a first down at the 12. Butler gets the ball on a power left, but Daily-Lyles (Hawaii-commit) bursts through and tackles him for a 3-yard loss. On second down, Koniseti goes to McCauley who catches it at 3 and gets into the end zone for a TOUCHDOWN...An unsportsmanlike conduct call on Grant will move the PAT attempt back to the 17-yard line. The Pacers will call timeout and then go for two. The two point converstion is a completion to McCauley at the 5, but he's tackled immediately. And the score remains the same. It's Grant 25, Poly 20 with 1:11 to go in the game.

Poly drive (6:10 in fourth): Poly will begin at its own 34-yard line. Barner gets the ball on first down and loses a yard. Richardson carries on second down and is stopped for no gain. Fennell scrambles toward the right sideline and steps out of bounds for no gain. Poly punts the ball and it's downed at the Grant 32. We'll have a TV timeout, and then Grant will take over with 4:20 left in the game. It's still Poly 20, Grant 19.

Grant drive (9:36 in fourth): A squib kick is finally recovered by Grant at its own 12, but a late hit by Poly will give the Pacers the ball at their own 27. Koniseti runs the sneak on first down and picks up 3. Grant tries to go deep. McCauley had a step on the two defenders, but Koniseti's pass was just out of his reach. It wouldn't have mattered anyway, though, as a holding call will move Grant back to its own 20. Konisetti throws on 2nd down and completes it to Warren on the left sideline. Gain of 14, and it will be 3rd-4. Butler gets the ball on a dive and carries as many as five Poly defenders for a gain of 11. First down at the G 45. Butler gets it again on first down and picks up 4. Again it's Butler, and after being hit at the line of scrimmage, he bounces out to the right and gets all the way down to the LB 41. First down. Koniseti goes for a 10-yard slant, but it falls incomplete. On 2nd-10, Grant tries a backwards pass but Butler can't corral it and the ball rolls backward to the G 48 before Butler can recover it. Loss of 11. Koniseti completes to McCauley on a swing pass. It's a pick-up of 16, and Grant faces a 4th-6. Koniseti keeps the ball and gets just four yards, two yards shy of the marker. Poly will take over with 6:10 left in the game.

Poly drive (10:29 in fourth): Williams-Fox takes the kickoff to the LB 31, and that's where the J'Rabbits will start. Fennell throws deep on first down. It was underthrown and Poly receiver, Clay, had to break up a potential interception. Fennell completes to Westbrook on second down, he picks up a first down at the LB 45. After a night of struggles trying to run the football against Grant, Richardson finally broke into the secondary and out-sprinted the Pacers' safeties for a 55-yard TOUCHDOWN run. Poly takes a timeout to decide if they want to go for two here. They currently lead by one (20-19). The scoring drive was three plays, 69 yards in 50 seconds. The Jackrabbits are now lined up for a 2-pt. conversion. Westbrook was wide open, but Fennell overthrew him. So, with 9:39 left in the game, it's POLY 20, GRANT 19.

Grant drive cont. (12:00 in fourth): Grant goes the screen on 2nd down and Koniseti completes to Amey for a gain of one. Koniseti goes to the tight end on 3rd down, Aaron Jones hauls it in for 8 yards. It will be 4th-1 from the 6. Butler gets it on a counter left and is beyond the goal line before he's even touched. TOUCHDOWN, Pacers. Grant goes for the 2-pt conversion and Koniseti runs but is stopped at the 1-yard line. With 10:36 to go in the game, it's GRANT 19, POLY 14


Grant drive (23 seconds in third): Butler carries for no gain and Grant will face 2nd and 10 from the 15 when we resume play.

Poly drive (2:10 in third): Jackrabbits have it on their own 28. Fennell hands to Richardson and he's got a gain of 5 to the 33. 2nd and 5. Richardson again, this time heading right, and he's stopped for pretty much no gain. He got one yard. 3rd and 4 from the 34. Poly motions into an empty backfield, Fennell throws, and it ricochets off his receiver, Jordan Johnson and into the hands of Marvin Lamb who picks it off! He spins and jukes down to the 15 and Grant is in business.

Grant drive (3:16 in third): It's a squib kick and Willie Johnson returns it to the Grant 39. 1st and 10 Pacers. Toss sweep to Butler and he's goin nowhere. The Poly front seven is dominating right now. No gain. 2nd and 10. Koniseti throws a quick screen to McCauley on the right side and he gets to the 47. We'll call it 3rd and 2. Another quick screen, this time left for Howard Warren, and it's incomplete. Throw was too low. Grant brings the punt unit on again. Matheny gets this one away and it rolls out of bounds around the 28.

Grant drive (5:12 in third): Butler carries from the 9 to the 15. 2nd and 4. Butler carries again for one yard. 3rd and 3 from the 16. Butler again and he lurches forward looking to get an extra yard or two. He didn't get it, and Grant will punt again from its own 18. Matheny drops into punt formation. Juwuan Brown busts up the middle and BLOCKS THE PUNT. George Daily-Lyles recovers around the five and takes it into the end zone! Roniss adds the PAT and just like that Poly leads. 3:16 left in the third quarter - Poly 14, Grant 13.

TODAY'S ATTENDANCE: 14,122. Total for the weekend - 21, 703

Poly drive (7:02 in third): Poly has it on the Grant 33. Bubble screen right to Clay but Marvin Lamb shuts that down with a good tackle. 2nd and 10. Richardson tries up the middle but continues to find the going tough. He got a yard. 3rd and 9 fron the 42. Fennell drops back and he gets LEVELED by Jordan Wallace. The hit knocks the ball loose and Poly falls on it. There was a hold on the play and that's declined by the Pacers. It brings up 4th down from the 40. Roniss to punt. His punt trickles out of bounds at the 9.

Grant drive (8:35 in third): Pacers will take the ball at their own 1. Devontae Butler on the carry and he gets nowhere. 2nd and 10 from the 1. Koniseti throws deep down the left side for Xavier Amey but it's not close. 3rd and 10 from the 1. Pass from Koniseti to McCauley but Stanjarivus McKay takes him down to bring up 4th and 2 on the 9. Matheny drops into punt formation. Punt taken by Darius Williams-Fox but the Jackrabbits accomplished their goal of shifting field position. They take over at the 33.

Poly drive (12:00 in third): Jackrabbits set to receive the second-half kickoff. Koniseti kicks off and it's fielded by Darius Williams-Fox and he returns to the 31. That's where Poly takes over, 1st and 10. Fennell drops to throw and Grant's Kevin Rich catches it out of bounds. Incomplete pass. 2nd and 10 on the 31. Daveon Barner runs up the middle and he's down to the Poly 47 for a first down. Fennell passes right to Damon Smith. He's taken down on the 50. Barner rushes to the 46. 3rd and 4. Fennell finds Kaelin Clay on the right side and he's all the way down to the 24. There's a flag in the backfield. It'll be a dead-ball personal foul on Poly. So, the Jackrabbits get the first down and then get backed up to the Grant 39. 1st and 10. Fennell throws a jump pass as he's being hit and it sails out of bounds. 2nd and 10. Richardson takes the handoff and tries to bounce left but he's got nowhere to go as the Pacers take him down at the line of scrimmage. 3rd and 10. Fennell passes, he's hit as he throws, and the pass sails over Westbrook's head. Alan Roniss on to punt for the Jackrabbits. Punt is downed at the 1-yard line.

Well, we got to the bottom of the staircase here and Snoop Dogg was walking by us. So, we're having a grand 'ole time. Here are some stats
Grant: Butler 9 carries, 34 yards; Koniseti 12 carries, 32 yards, 1 TD, 4-13-0 passing, 143 yards, 1 TD; Total yards 209.
Poly: Fennell 5-14-0 101 yards, 1 TD; Clay 1 catch, 65 yards, 1 TD; Total yards: 107.

We're going to take a slight break for halftime. See you in about 15 min.


Grant drive (1:07 in second): Koniseti throws incomplete on first down. Nearly intercepted by Kenny Tuiloma. Koniseti's arm is hit by Eli Edwards as he throws, the pass flutters incomplete. Koniseti runs a draw on third down and gets the first down at the G 49. Again, Koniseti keeps the ball and earns a minimal gain. It appears that the Pacers are more than content to take the lead into the half. On second down, the field is again littered with flags. Both fouls on Grant: Holding is refused, and illegal forward pass (Koniseti was beyond line of scrimmage) was accepted for a five-yard penalty and a loss of down. Grant runs a draw to Butler who picks up 18 yards before being brought down...AND THE HALF IS OVER.

Poly drive (3:05 in second): Poly goes to the deep ball yet again. Marvin Lamb intercepted the ball at the 5-yard line, but it was all for not after pass interference was called on the defense. Poly gets a 1st-10 at the G 33. Barner gets the carry on first down and he loses a yard. Grant blitzed on second down and nobody touches Howard Warren. Fennell is sacked for a 9-yard loss. Fennell gets drilled as he throws and completes it to Johnson for a 23-yard gain and a first down at the Grant 21. Barner gets the ball on a draw and loses two yards. Poly calls timeout with 1:29 left in the half. Out of the timeout, Fennell goes to the air again and hits Kaelin Clay in the end zone, but offensive pass interference nullifies the touchdown and Poly is moved back to its own 38. It'll be 3rd-and-a-long, long way. Fennell throws long again and it falls incomplete. Poly called timeout and will go for it on 4th. They throw for the end zone again, Clay comes down with it, but is out of bounds.

Grant drive (4:52 in second): The Pacers will start in good field position after a strong kick return by McCauley. Grant will begin at its own 44. Koniseti drops back and he's quickly collared by Zakeem Williams for a sack and a 7-yard loss. Butler gets the carry on second down and loses a yard after four Poly players meet him all at the same time. Facing a 3rd-19, the Pacers will call a timeout. Out of the timeout, Grant drops back to pass and Koniseti scrambles. He's drilled by Matauaina Iosia, the ball pops loose and Corey Waller recovers it. Poly ball.

Poly drive (5:14 in second): Poly takes over at its own 35. Fennell passes on first down and grossly overthrows receiver Julian Camper. A deep throw to Jordan Johnson is complete, but Johnson was not in bounds. On third down, the deep ball finally works. Fennell hits Kaelin Clay in stride for a 65 yard TOUCHDOWN stirike. The PAT is good, and with 4:52 left in the half, it's GRANT 13, POLY 7.

Grant drive (7:27 in second): Grant begins with a draw for Koniseti. He picks up two yards to the 36. Koniseti scrambles on second down and picks up 5. It will be 3rd-3 from the G 43. Butler gets the carry and stumbles early and lunges, but he winds up an inch short. Grant will line up to go for it. Butler dives left and gets a first down at the G 46. Screen pass to McCauley and it picks up a first down at the LB 43. Butler breaks loose and gets down to the 25 before he's stripped by Tepa. Tepa takes off the other way, also fumbles, but the Jackrabbits' Jawon Brown recovered and Poly keeps the ball.

Poly drive (10:38 in second): Fennell tries to throw left on first down and it falls incomplete. Richardson fumbles on second down, but Poly's Joseph Croom recovers and it's 3rd-6. The pocket breaks down and Fennell is forced to scramble, he's brought down by middle linebacker Jeremiah Toma after a gain of just two. Poly will line up to punt again. OH, BUT WAIT -- An illegal subsitution by Grant will give a first down the J'Rabbits. It's 1st-10 at the LB 42. Barner gets the carry on first down and gets three yards to the 45. Barner carries on second down and gets inside the left tackle for a gain of 4. Fennell throws incomplete on a third down, but there is a flag on the play. It's holding, and Grant will choose to back them up. Poly will now face a 3rd-18 from its own 33. The sceen to Barner was wide open, but the pass fell short. And again the punting team comes out. Warren makes a fair catch at the Grant 35.

--Random observation: The long pass to Warren was the fourth time in the game that Grant has decided to pick on defensive back Lazari Middleton - a commit to Nebraska. He was the victim on the long TD pass in the first quarter, also.

Grant drive (11:52 in second): Koniseti drops back on first down and is sacked by Tepa. Loss of 6. Koniseti drops back on second down and tried to float a pass to the flat, but it's overthrown. 3rd-16 from the 40. Koniseti's pass on third down was intended for McCauley, but it was thrown too high. There was a flag for an illegal shift on Grant. It was declined. And it's 4th-16. Koniseti goes deep down the left sideline and connects with Howard Warren on a great as he fell out of bounds. First and goal from the 2, and Koniseti sneaks it in for a TOUCHDOWN. PAT is no good and with 10:44 to go in the half it's GRANT 13, POLY 0.

Poly drive cont. (12:00 in second): Jackrabbits will start the half facing a 4th-9 from their own 16. Poly punts and it's a line drive. Grant will open with great field position at the LB 34.


Poly drive (1:25 in first): Jackrabbits get the ball on the 15. Richardson gets the first down carry and he's down on the 16 after a gain of one. 2nd and 9. Richardson gets it again and he falls forward for another gain of one. 3rd and 8 upcoming. Fennell looks to throw and has to pull it down. He runs right into the arms of Edward Robinson and that's the end of the first quarter.

Grant drive (3:56 in first): 1st and 10 Grant on the Poly 47. Movement before the snap and that'll be a false start on Grant. Ball back to the Grant 48, 1st and 15. Toss to Butler and he looks to throw before having to pull it down and go down on the 45. Loss of three. 2nd and 18. Quick slant from Koniseti to Ronald Fields and he turns upfield for a big gain. Ball down to the 15. 1st and 10. QB sneak by Koniseti and he's down to the 12. 2nd and 7. Toss to Butler and the Poly defense rallies to the ball, dropping him for a loss. Loss of three to the 15. 3rd and 10. Koniseti throws over the middle but McKay knocks it down. Nice DB play there. Brings up 4th and 10 from the 15. Koniseti lofts one for the end zone but Xavier Amey can't quite catch it in bounds. Poly takes over on the 15.

Poly drive (5:14 in first): Jackrabbits take over on their own 16. Melvin Richardson runs into the line and Tony Matavale nails him. Nice hit there. One yard gain for Richardson and it's 2nd and 9 on the 17. Fennell throws deep for Kaelin Clay but it's incomplete. 3rd and 9. Screen pass from Fennell to Barner, there's a flag for holding, and the play goes nowhere. Grant declines the penalty, bringing up 4th down on the 19. Roniss to punt. False start on the play backs Poly up to the 14. Howard Warren back deep for Grant. Warren fields it on the Poly47 and he's down immediately.

Grant drive (6:45 in first): Butler on the first down carry and he's down to the 20. That's a gain of 1 and it's 2nd and 9. Koniseti rolls right and Stanjarivus McKay nearly intercepts the pass. In fact, the entire Poly defense thought he picked it off and left the field! They're back now, and it's 3rd and 9. Koniseti keeps and he's down to the 16. 4th and 5. Timeout Grant. Koniseti throws to the corner of the end zone for McCauley but it's overthrown just a tad and it's an incompletion. Poly takes over on downs.

Poly drive (6:59 in first): Kickoff taken by Jordan Johnson on the 5 and he returns to the 20 before fumbling! Grant has the ball! It's Tony Matavale with it.

Grant drive (7:09 in first): Grant gets the ball on its own 46. Koniseti to pass and he lofts a PERFECTLY THROWN BALL to Darvin McCauley and he's into the end zone for a touchdown. Koniseti's pump fake got the DB to bite big time. Koniseti's PAT is good. 6:59 left in the first quarter - Grant 7, Long Beach Poly 0.

Poly drive (10:15 in first): Morgan Fennell under center and he gives to Melvin Richardson, who picks up 5 to the 25. 2nd and 5. Richardson again, this time heading left, and he's tackled for no gain. 3rd and 5. Poly goes five receivers and Fennell hits Jordan Johnson along the left sideline. First down on the 31. Westbrook motions right and Fennell hits him in stride. He stumbles out to the 37 for a gain of 6. 2nd and 4. Toss left to Daveon Barner and he's corraled in the backfield by a couple Pacers, led by Jordan Wallace. He loses two yards and it's 3rd and 6 from the 35. Westbrook goes down the middle and he's wide open but Fennell can't put it on him in a catchable spot. Incomplete pass brings up 4th and 6. Roniss on to punt. Howard Warren to return for Grant. Roniss' punt isn't too good, and Grant gets the ball on its own 46.

Grant drive (12:00 left in the first): Darvin McCauley and Cory Westbrook back deep for the Pacers. Matt Roniss squibs it for Poly and Jordan Wallace retrieves the ball and rumbles forward to the Poly 46. Good return for Grant. 1st and 10 from the Poly 46. Kipeli Koniseti hands to Devontae Butler and he's just inside the 45. Koniseti keeps on second down and he's too the 40. Call it 3rd and 4. Koniseti keeps again and he's nailed by a couple Poly defenders. Flag on the play is for holding on Grant. That penalty is declined. 4th and 5 and the Pacers will play field position, lining up for a punt. Jaymee Matheny punts and Darius Williams-Fox fields the ball in his own end zone for a touchback.

- Captains for tonight:
Grant - Kipeli Koniseti, Alesana Laban, Jeremiah Toma, Darvin McCauley
Poly - Morgan Fennell, Edward Robinson, George Daily Lyles, Iuta Tepa
Grant wins the toss and the Pacers will receive.

- From what I can tell, Poly has six defensive starters with Division I offers. Three have signed already. That's a little talent, eh?

-Poly has taken the field now. They are in their dark green home jerseys with gold pants and very shiny gold helmets. Grant takes the field in their visiting white uniforms with blue numbers. They have bright yellow pants and helmets.

-Ben is enjoying himself plugging Long Beach Poly names into the search functions of He claims to have found profiles basically the entire defense already. Which is not surprising, since Poly has been a defensive powerhouse for quite some time -- especially the last two seasons.

-Kickoff is slated for 8:06 p.m.. Both teams have gone through warmups and have returned to the lockerroom for Big Speech Time. Grant has travelled well, bringing a good-sized crowd. Poly, on the other hand, has brought a small army. I would estimate that there are at least 5,000-6,000 fans on their side of the stadium. And the fans are still making their way over there.

-Alright people, well this is the "main" event. Long Beach Poly (14-0), the No. 1 ranked team in the state, will be hoping to finish out a perfect season and essentially wrap up the "state championship". And then they're Grant (13-0), ranked No. 6 in the state, which will be trying to show well and deserved the invitation and belongs in a game of this magnitude.

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