A strong offense led by Bret Harte Bullfrogs’ quarterback Ryan Kraft propelled the team to a 47-29 victory Friday night over the Golden Sierra Grizzlies at Golden Sierra High School in Garden Valley.
The Bullfrogs showed no signs of the team that fell 61-7 to the Truckee High School Wolverines two weeks prior as they carved through the Grizzlies’ defense in the air and on the ground.
“We competed for four quarters,” said Bullfrog offensive coordinator Jeremy Hurtado. “We talk about competing a lot in practice and the kids came out and did that tonight, so I’m proud of them for that.”
On the first drive of the game, the Grizzlies marched down the field with an aggressive running attack. They scored a touchdown off a 3-yard run and completed the extra point to take a 7-0 lead at 6:06 in the first quarter.
The Bullfrogs would answer on their first drive with a more than 60-yard play on fourth down.
From the Bullfrogs’ 33-yard-line, the Bret Harte offense lined up in shotgun formation on 4th-and-9. Kraft dropped back after the snap and aired a deep pass to wide receiver Cameron Silva, who caught the ball around the Grizzlies’ 30 and ran along the right sideline untouched into the endzone for a touchdown.
Bret Harte kicker Ryan Crawford got the extra point to tie the game 7-7 with 4:12 left in the first quarter.
The Grizzlies kept the ball on the ground again throughout their next possession, rushing 67 yards in 12 plays for another touchdown and a 13-7 lead at 9:41 in the second quarter. However, Bret Harte blocked the extra-point kick to keep Golden Sierra within six points.
Bret Harte turned the ball over on downs on their next possession followed by the Golden Sierra punting on 4th-and-15 from their own 23.
Starting from the Grizzlies 48, the Bullfrogs gained 15 yards off a helmet-to-helmet penalty on the Grizzlies. After an incomplete pass, Kraft connected with Bullfrogs senior Julian Gonzalez for another deep pass.
Gonzalez jumped above his defender to snatch the ball out of the air and run it in for another Bullfrogs’ touchdown that tied the game 13-13.
The first half ended tied 13-13, but the second was all Bullfrogs.
Bret Harte received the ball to start the second half and immediately went to work. After two rushes that netted a combined five yards, Kraft faked the handoff on 3rd-and-5 and ran into the 65 yards end zone to give the Bullfrogs their first lead.
Crawford got the extra point and brought the Bullfrogs lead to 20-13 at 10:25 in the third quarter.
Golden Sierra’s returner bobbled the kickoff and Bret Harte recovered the ball inside the Grizzlies’ 5. The Bullfrogs lined up in I-formation on the following play and Kraft found Bret Harte junior Karson Kirck in the endzone on a short pass for another touchdown 31 seconds after the last.
The Bullfrogs lead increased to 27-13 at 9:54 in the third quarter after another successful kick by Crawford.
Kraft said, “To get that momentum and then capitalize on it was just great.”
After rushing for more than 40 yards, the Grizzlies fumbled and Bret Harte recovered on the Bullfrogs’ 12. Kraft scored a touchdown on a 79-yard quarterback keeper, juking a defender along the way and tiptoeing along the sideline into the endzone to bring the Bullfrogs lead to 33-13 at 5:00 in the third quarter.
Golden Sierra’s next possession ended 13 seconds later following an interception by Bullfrogs defender Michael Hughes. He would get another interception at 10:52 in the fourth quarter on the Grizzlies next drive following a Bret Harte punt.
The teams went back and forth in the fourth quarter.
Bret Harte scored off a 1-yard rush by Bullfrog running back Javon Gilbert to bring the score to 40-13, followed by a Golden Sierra touchdown off a rush by Anjelo Maravilla. Nathan Rodriguez scored the next touchdown for the Bullfrogs off a 1-yard run following a 50-yard run by Gilbert.
Golden Sierra managed to get another touchdown with 4:41 in the fourth quarter, but that was the last of the game for both teams.
“This game I think we really came together as a team and put everything together,” Hughes said.
Bret Harte returns home next Friday in a 7 p.m. game against the Highlands Scots.