Eagles start league soaring

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Granite Hills stole a homecoming game win away from South Bay’s Hilltop High School (3-4) on Oct.13, in riveting second-half comeback that hints at an exciting season in the Grossmont Valley League. 

The visiting Eagles (5-2) were down 13-12 at the start of the second half, which followed the crowning of Hilltop’s homecoming royalty and a magnificent firework display over Southwestern College’s football stadium, where the neutral non-conference game was held. 

Granite Hills stole a homecoming game win away from South Bay’s Hilltop High School (3-4) on Oct.13, in riveting second-half comeback that hints at an exciting season in the Grossmont Valley League. 

The visiting Eagles (5-2) were down 13-12 at the start of the second half, which followed the crowning of Hilltop’s homecoming royalty and a magnificent firework display over Southwestern College’s football stadium, where the neutral non-conference game was held. 

The Eagles were not to be defeated. 

Sophomore defensive back Ethen Bishop, who made more than one critical play against the Lancers, said his teammates know how to rally when the going gets tough. 

“We work best when we’re together and pissed off,” he said. “In the second half, we came out with fire in our eyes. They punched us in our mouth the first half. We came back.”

In the third quarter, Granite Hills racked up 14 points, thanks largely to senior quarterback Jacob Siegfried and senior running back David Gonzalez, who also plays defensive end. In the fourth quarter, the Lancers scored a touchdown, but were prevented from getting a field goal when Gonzalez and junior defensive back Gideon Alaba intercepted the kick and Alaba returned it for an Eagles’ touchdown. Granite Hills then ran in a two-point conversion to win the game 34-20. 

The roster is looking green overall, but Granite Hills head coach Kellan Cobbs said his four seniors on the offensive line are setting the pace for the running game this season.

“It’s always good to have stability in that position,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of new faces but they’re getting better.” 

Cobbs said the team has been improving consistently and that most of their field errors are rookie mistakes that can be cleaned up with time. League is looking good, he said.

“I think we’re getting better every week, starting to make plays where plays need to be made,” he said. “This was a close game, a good battle with a good team tonight. I think we have a good shot.” 

Competition in league this season will be toughest with Monte Vista and Mount Miguel, Cobbs said. 

“Monte Vista is a very good team,” he said. “They’re similar to us, they run the ball a lot. I think it’ll be a bit of a mirror with them, running the football, playing good defense. That’ll obviously be a good test.”

Monte Vista won their league opener against Mount Miguel last week, 35-0. 

The Matadors have some powerful tools in their belt this season as well, said Cobbs. 

“They have a great running back, a couple great receivers out on the edge, and their quarterback’s elusive,” he said. “You can’t look past anybody. We’ve got to take care of business on our end.”

The Eagles will play both Mount Miguel and Monte Vista before the end of the month and finish league play with a game against El Cajon Valley on November 3.

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