Marcus Larson/News-Register##
McMinnville head coach Ryan McIrvin addresses the team after the Grizzlies first round loss to Grant Friday in the state playoffs. McMinnville fell 47-13.
Marcus Larson/News-Register## McMinnville head coach Ryan McIrvin addresses the team after the Grizzlies first round loss to Grant Friday in the state playoffs. McMinnville fell 47-13.
By Rusty Rae • Sport Editor • 

Grizzlies fall to Grant in first round of playoffs, 47-13

PORTLAND – McMinnville’s Grizzly football team (6-4, 5-3 GVC) had very few answers for the Grant Generals (8-2, 7-1 PIL) in their first round OSAA 6A football game Friday night, falling 47-13.

McMinnville knew this would be a tough contest, but considered Grant a team with which they would be competitive -- based on similar scores against a common opponent, Wilson. But Grant’s senior-laden team was too powerful for McMinnville, using power, speed, and depth to put the game away early in the third quarter.

Grant took the opening kick-off and drove 75 yards, the final 11 yards coming on a blast by their powerful running back, Grant Ewell, Jr.

The Generals came out in a funky two-point conversion formation, but the Grizzlies snuffed the attempt and trailed 6-0 at the 3:55 mark of the first quarter.

When McMinnville seemed to contain Grant, the Generals were able to get their speedster Savion Brown to the second level of the Grizzlies defense, and Brown, taking advantage of effective downfield blocking, went 59 yards for the second TD of the night. Grant was not able to convert the PAT when the two-point conversion was again stopped.

Trailing by a 12-0 score, the Grizzlies were not able to find a consistent offensive presence. McMinnville’s main offensive weapons, Colton Smith and Odin Thorson, were regularly blanketed by double coverage, and QB Sam DuPuis had an off night, hurrying a number of throws, which were off target or intercepted.

DuPuis finished the night 15-33-3 and a fumble that was returned for a score. Smith had five catches for 83 yards, Thorson also had five grabs for 77 yards, and Parker Spence had two for 53 yards and a score.

Down by 19-0 at the half, the Grizzlies received the kick-off to open the second half, but could not get anything going. The Generals, however, put up three scores in short order to put the game out of reach.

Those three scores came in a roughly four-minute stretch starting with Demarques Singleton Jr.’s one-yard dash at the 8:17 mark. Ewell Jr. got loose on a 43-yard dash at the 4:51 mark of the third. Adding insult to injury, Zyon McCarthy stripped the ball from DuPuis, and went 40 yards for a third score in the third period 27 seconds later, essentially salting the game away, as the Generals pushed the lead to 40-0

McMinnville finally hit the scoreboard at the 7:12 mark of the fourth quarter when DuPuis hit Spence on the left flank. Spence went 19 yards for the score, juking one man, and diving into the end zone. The PAT was no good, bringing the score to 40-6.

At the 3:21 mark, McMinnville ran a reverse to Thorson. He made another splendid cut, slicing through several defenders and into the end zone. The PAT was good, but it was too little, too late.

Ray Jacob, the Grizzlies' power running back finished the night with 18 carries for 82 yards. He was a beast with the ball, but McMinnville was unable to sustain drives, misfiring with penalties, drops or interceptions.

Though beaten in their final game, McMinnville’s season is another building block in its return to a consistent winning program. Only four years ago, the Grizzlies suffered through a 1-8 season.

Friday night the anguish over the loss was palpable – and a sign the loss was not something McMinnville accepted easily.

Comments

Jim

Congrats on your season. McMinnville football has come a long way with Coach McIrvin. It will continue to improve as he is involved at all levels of football in the program. The coaches at the little guy level are also doing a great job. It been a great effort by everyone involved.

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