The Granite Hills High School football team took care of a couple of school records in one swoop.
The Eagles’ 62-0 non-league victory against the visiting Valhalla Norsemen on Aug. 26 set a school record for most points scored in one game in school history as well as the team’s largest margin of victory in a shutout.
A number even more key to this season: Granite Hills improved to 2-0 to remain undefeated and, in the process, inch up the San Diego Section’s high school football rankings.
The seventh-ranked Eagles will host the Madison Warhawks in another non-league encounter this Friday. Kick-off is 7 p.m.
Madison is coming off a 22-21 cliff-hanging non-league victory at Steele Canyon last Friday as junior linebacker Berrot Rankin blocked a potential game-winning field goal attempt with two seconds remaining in regulation.
The dramatic win evened the Warhawks’ record to 1-1 while Steele Canyon dropped to 0-2. The Cougars have lost both of their games to kick off the season by a total of five points.
Granite Hills head coach Kellan Cobbs said his team is playing to its strength: being physical up front on the ball.
The Eagles allowed the Norsemen (1-1) minus-40 yards in offense in the first half while creating numerous turnovers to set up their offense.
“The biggest thing is physicality — that’s something we strive for each year,” said Cobbs, whose team entered this week ranked sixth among Division I teams. “We want to play good defense — number one. Our running game is strong. We have three strong players playing receiver. We have a new quarterback. We’ll develop from there.”
The hosts scored just about every way imaginable to thrill the large home crowd and provide the backdrop for a celebratory postgame mood.
Valhalla, which kicked off its season with a 14-8 non-league win over visiting Hilltop on Aug. 20, received the ball first and did little while being pounded by bone-jarring hits by Eagles defenders.
Granite Hills was unable to score on its first series but promptly lit up the scoreboard with three first quarter touchdowns.
Junior quarterback Nico Tomasello connected with senior Sean Simpson on a short two-yard scoring pass after junior Joaquin Thomas Jr. had set up the scoring play with a 36-yard run to give the hosts a lead they would not relinquish in the neighborhood rivalry contest.
The Eagles wasted little time, in fact, in scoring their next touchdown after recovering a short kick-off at the Valhalla 32-yard line. Senior running back Patrick Brady capped off the drive with a six-yard scoring run to double the Granite Hills lead to 14-0.
A 40-yard breakaway run by Thomas with 50.9 seconds remaining the in the quarter upped the Eagles lead to 20-0.
The hosts led 41-0 at halftime.
Junior Easton Peterson recovered a fumble and junior running back Corey Thompson-Miller quickly converted the score on a 21-yard run for a 27-0 lead just 45 seconds into the second quarter.
Sophomore receiver Derek Edmond took a short swing pass from Tomasello and broke loose down the sideline for a 73-yard catch-and-carry touchdown to increase the Granite Hills lead to 34-0 with 4:21 left before halftime.
The Eagles didn’t let the remaining time in the first half go to waste as junior Davion Green reversed field to score on a meandering 48-yard kickoff return to stake his team to a 41-point lead.
Granite Hills scored a string of rapid-fire touchdowns to kick off the second half.
Thomas returned the second-half kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to push the hosts ahead even further on the scoreboard. Junior DeaSean Floyd scored on a five-yard run following a fumble recovery while junior Daniel Netto rounded out scoring in the game on a 19-yard interception return.
The Eagles’ second- and third-string players received lots of reps in the waning stages of the game and pleasantly produced.
Granite Hills’ previous largest margin of victory in a shutout came in a 50-0 win at Monte Vista in 2006. The Eagles defeated Santana, 49-0, in 1985.
Despite the lopsided score, the Norsemen did have their moments on defense as sophomore Anthony Kasyouhannon and senior Giovanni Alejo both recorded interceptions.
Valhalla returns to the gridiron Friday for a non-league home game against San Pasqual (1-1). The Golden Eagles got into the win column for the first time this season following last Friday’s 49-6 non-league victory at Olympian.