Football

California looks ready for EBAL “meat-grinder” after it overwhelms Granada in dominant second half

SAN RAMON – It took four minutes and four seconds for California to turn what was a competitive homecoming game against Granada into a rout and eventual 41-17 victory. 

Upon receiving the opening kickoff with a 21-10 lead that could have been much smaller had the opposing Matadors not squandered opportunities, California marched downfield on a five-play drive that ended with quarterback Jayden Macedo finding Chase McGill for the tight end’s seventh touchdown of the season. 

After a Granada three-and-out took a minute off the clock, a long punt return set up Sayyidi Addul-Kareem’s second rushing touchdown of the night with 7:56 on the scoreboard. 

Granada never recovered from the third-quarter blitz, one where Grizzlies pass-rushers got into the backfield at will, and receivers ran open and running backs roughshod. 

Friday night’s game displayed the gulf in talent between a competitive team from the East Bay Athletic League’s lower Valley Division such as Granada, and a good team from the upper Mountain Division.  

“They’re a physical team, and we tried to bring it too,” Granada coach Marc Moses said. “My hat’s off to them … this shows where we need to go.”

Cal quarterback Jayden Macedo completed his first eight passes, throwing for 212 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Devan Love had 131 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries, and the team rolled up 182 yards on the ground and four touchdowns. 

SAN RAMON - California running back Devan Love (4) runs for yardage in the first quarter. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California high school in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)SAN RAMON – California running back Devan Love (4) runs for yardage in the first quarter. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California high school in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 

Love also picked off a Granada pass on the Livermore school’s first drive, which set up a two-play Cal drive Macedo punctuated with a 17-yard TD pass to top target Nick Fox two minutes into the game. 

Granada’s Quinn Boyd entered Friday night owning a sterling 16 to 1 touchdown-to-interception ratio, with the senior dividing his attention between receivers Christian Clauser, Peyton Richards and younger brother Mikey Boyd. 

Boyd passed for 170 yards, but the 6-foot-4 passer showed off his speed by rushing for 40 yards. His scrambles helped Granada march downfield for 10-play TD drive running back Clouser capped with a three-yard run into the end zone. 

SAN RAMON - California quarterback Quinn Boyd (12) throws a pass in the first quarter. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California High School in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)SAN RAMON – California quarterback Quinn Boyd (12) throws a pass in the first quarter. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California High School in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 

California answered with a four-minute drive that Abdul-Kareem finished with his first rushing touchdown, 40 seconds left in the first quarter and with Cal leading 14-7. 

“Tonight we really wanted to stay focused, since we had homecoming and everything going on around us,” Abdul-Kareem said. 

The Grizzlies looked focused after took a two-touchdown lead with 8:38 left in the first half, when Love handled an option pitch from Macedo and ran down the left sideline for a 15-yard touchdown.

The only other points Granada could muster was a 39-yard Brandon Niemeyer field goal to make the halftime score 21-10, despite moving the ball somewhat well.

“A few things go a little better for us, and I feel like we have a better shot,” Boyd said. 

After California’s student section selected its homecoming court, the Grizzlies’ that took the field after halftime looked like the team that has shot up the Bay Area News Group’s rankings. 

Its 3-2 record belied the Grizzlies’ talent, the San Ramon school’s two losses being to San Juan Hills from Orange County and a 38-35 defeat at No. 4-ranked Pittsburg.

Coming off a 48-6 rout of previously undefeated Milpitas, history indicated the Grizzlies would have no issues putting away Granada. California had won the previous nine meetings, triumphing by double-digits in seven of those games.  

SAN RAMON - California running back Sayyidi Addul-Kareem runs for a touchdown in the first half. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California High School in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)SAN RAMON – California running back Sayyidi Addul-Kareemruns for a touchdown in the first half. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California High School in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 

Three second-half touchdowns made it 10 in a row, the lone Granada touchdown being a 52-yard bomb from Boyd to Richards early in the fourth quarter. 

The quarterback spent much of his night under duress from Cal’s pass rush, with frenetic defensive end Ethan Cullen totaling three of Cal’s five sacks. 

“Ethan has a great motor,” Calcagno said. “He’s undersized, but he plays with great technique and he’s got a lot of heart.”

Granada will play host to Dublin next Friday. California, which improved to 4-2, has a bye next week and then will start its EBAL Mountain schedule at Monte Vista on Oct. 13. 

The battle-tested team believes it has what it takes to compete with the powerhouses of the league. .

“It’s a meat-grinder, but we’re ready for it,” Calcagno said. 

SAN RAMON - California players run out onto the field during pregame festivities. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California High School in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)SAN RAMON – California players run out onto the field during pregame festivities. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California High School in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 
SAN RAMON - California WR Chase McGill (5) runs with the ball in the first half. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California High School in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)SAN RAMON – California WR Chase McGill (5) runs with the ball in the first half. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California High School in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 
SAN RAMON - California running back Sayyidi Addul-Kareem runs for a touchdown in the first half. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California High School in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)SAN RAMON – California running back Sayyidi Addul-Kareemruns for a touchdown in the first half. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California High School in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 
SAN RAMON - Granada coach Marc Moses talks to an official in the second quarter. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California High School in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)SAN RAMON – Granada coach Marc Moses talks to an official in the second quarter. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California High School in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 
SAN RAMON - Cal safety Devan Love (4) dives to attempt a kick block in the second quarter as Granada kicker Brandon Niemeyer makes a field goal in the second quarter. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California High School in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)SAN RAMON – Cal safety Devan Love (4) dives to attempt a kick block in the second quarter as Granada kicker Brandon Niemeyer makes a field goal in the second quarter. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California High School in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 
SAN RAMON - Granada quarterback Quinn Boyd evades pressure late in the first half. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California High School in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group)SAN RAMON – Granada quarterback Quinn Boyd evades pressure late in the first half. California and Granada played in a high school football game at California High School in San Ramon, Calif. on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Joseph Dycus/Bay Area News Group) 

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