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By Bill Dickens

EL CAJON (9-25-16) — The Grossmont College Griffins outgained the visiting Chaffey Panthers 351 yards to 287 in Saturday’s (Sept. 24) non-conference game at Mashin-Roth Field.

Yet that advantage was not enough as the Griffins saw a 10-10 tie evaporate as Vincent Bowes fired a 38-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Garcia to give the Panthers a 17-10 an upset victory.

Grossmont’s defense kept a harness on Chaffey most of the afternoon but the Panthers put together two quick strike touchdown drives at 2:45 in the third quarter and 6:15 in the fourth to pull out the win.

“It was a tough loss,” Grossmont quarterback BRAD CAGLE said. “But this is all they get – no more.”

Cagle completed 23 of 44 passes for 223 yards and was sacked three times.

“A leader has to lead and that didn’t happen today,” he added. “So it’s time to turn the page because that chapter (Chaffey) is over. It’s a whole different story now.”

Grossmont took a 3-0 lead on a 32-yard field goal by DOMINICK GRIMM in the second quarter, and that advantage stood up through the first half.

On its first possession of the second half Chaffey tied the score on a 26-yard field goal by Erick Ware.

The Griffins counterpunched with a 7-play, 51-yard drive capped by a 4-yard scoring run by NEHEMIAH BROWN. Brown finished with 136 all-purpose yards to pace the Griffins.

After that the Griffins were lost in frustration on the offensive side and Chaffey edged in front with two second half touchdowns.

The biggest threat for Grossmont was wide receiver ADRIAN TOLBERT, who grabbed 7 passes for 96 yards. MICHAEL LEDESMA reeled in 5 receptions for 42 yards. Nine other Griffins caught passes.

The high side for Grossmont was its defense. JORDAN ELLIS was the mainstay with 6 tackles – one for loss – and his 5th interception of the season.

“They thought they could test me right away on a deep ball,” Ellis said. “It was one-on-one coverage and No. 10 (Camron Coleman) is a good athlete but not better than I am. They tried to go over the top and I was there to grab it.”

Freshman linebacker ALEX CARSWELL, from Tampa, Fla., registered 8 tackles – one for loss. He knocked the Chaffey starting quarterback (Aaron Crone) out of the game as he spun him down for a 6-yard loss. The Panther QB left the game in an ambulance, but his replacement, Bowes, picked up the slack.

Grossmont ball carriers were dropped behind the line of scrimmage six times including 3 sacks. Grossmont’s defense registered 10 tackles for losses.

“I thought we played really well on defense, but our offense couldn’t move the ball consistently,” said Carswell. “You can’t put it on one side of the ball though. You win as a team and lose as a team – we’ve got to come together.”

Watch Grossmont take on Chaffey September 24

(9/23/2016) Fans can watch the 3-0 Griffins host 1-2 Chaffey Saturday at 3:00 pm on

The stream is free to view, but you will need to create a free one-time login, so be sure to create your account early so you don't miss the kickoff.


 By Bill Dickens

EL CAJON (9-23-16) — It might be too early to call this a turning point game, but it is a contest that Grossmont needs to win.

The Griffins (3-0), who are holding down a No. 12 ranking in Southern California, will host Chaffey (1-2) on Saturday (Sept. 24) at Mashin-Roth Field at 3 p.m.

Grossmont is off to its best start since rolling to five straight wins in the 2010 season that resulted in a disappointing 6-5 finish. The Griffins, who are averaging 40.3 points per game on offense but surrendering just 20.7 ppg on defense, are seeking a better finish this year.

In contrast Chaffey is producing 34.7 ppg but allowing a generous 35.7 ppg on defense.

Thus far Grossmont has rolled over Mesa 49-21, Los Angeles Harbor 37-27 and El Camino 35-14. Chaffey was clubbed in its first two games by Bakersfield 45-35, and Citrus 48-41. The Panthers put the brakes to the skid against Golden West, pounding out a 28-16 win last week.

The Griffins seek to put together a complete game as their offense and defense have switched leadership roles on a weekly basis.

Against Mesa the Griffins intercepted four passes and the defense held its ground as quarterback BRAD CAGLE completed 23 of 31 passes for 359 yards and 4 touchdowns.

At LA Harbor, the Griffins had to rely almost exclusively on their defense.

Without question the Griffins played their strongest game to date in knocking off El Camino in their home opener a week ago. After falling behind 7-0 and 14-7, Grossmont slammed the door by scoring the final 28 points to send the Warriors reeling. Grossmont’s quarterbacks threw the ball 47 times, completing 23 in that game.

One of the clutch plays of the afternoon was a flea flicker delivered by MICHAEL LEDESMA, who lofted a 77-yard scoring strike to JABRIL CLEWIS, which at the time tied the game 14-14. Of course, Grossmont coach MIKE JORDAN has a folder full of offensive tricks, as he proved on that throw.

In the upcoming duel against Chaffey it appears that it should be a high-scoring contest. It’s a matter of whether the Griffins will be ready to meet the challenge.

GRIFFIN GRAFFITI:  Sophomore outside linebacker COLE KIDD received defensive honorable mention by SCFA for the El Camino game won by the Griffins 35-14 with 13 tackles, 10 of which were solos and 2 for loss. He also had a sack. . . In 2010 the Griffins went on to play in the Beach Bowl where they lost to Santa Ana 52-43 . . . Grossmont owns a 16-9 series advantage over Chaffey . . . the last time these teams met was in 2009, with the Griffins prevailing over the Panthers 28-27. . . Chaffey claimed a 7-0 victory over Grossmont in the Griffins’ inaugural season in 1962.


By Bill Dickens

EL CAJON (9-16-16) — The visiting El Camino Warriors couldn’t get Grossmont College outside linebacker COLE KIDD out of their collective faces.

Every time the Warriors turned around it seemed like Kidd was present. He logged 13 tackles including 10 solo and 2 for losses. He also notched a sack as the Griffins handcuffed El Camino 35-14 in a non-conference encounter Saturday (Sept. 17) at Mashin-Roth Field.

“They started out really fast,” Kidd said of El Camino (2-1), which took a 14-7 lead with 12:53 remaining in the first half. “But as the game went on we got much more aggressive. The thing our coaches preach is the 11-1 Theory – we’re great as a whole and not as individuals.”

That proved to be true as the Griffins scored 28 unanswered points to roll their season record to 3-0.

“We had a lot of big plays on offense,” continued Kidd, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound sophomore graduate of Point Loma High. “And our defense was as good as it’s been all year. We’ve been consistent on that side of the ball in all three games.”

LUQMAN BARCOO had 5 solo tackles and an interception for the Griffins. Barcoo’s theft came on the final play of the first half with the Griffins leading 21-14. HUNTER CLARK also picked off a pass, giving the Griffins 11 interceptions for the season.

El Camino attempted to challenge Grossmont’s JORDAN ELLIS with three passes and the freshman DB broke up two and recovered a fumble on the third. Guess El Camino hadn’t heard that Ellis had 4 interceptions and two lengthy touchdown returns in the first two games.

Safety KURTIS BROOKS recorded 5 tackles, forced 2 fumbles and broke up 3 passes.

“Quality over quantity . . . every single dressed player got reps in the secondary,” Hudson added. “Proud that they went in there and did their job.”

El Camino put the ball in the air 34 times and came away with 238 yards. Despite all that aerial action the Griffins did not give up any long passes.

Grossmont’s defensive lineman GABE OILAR had 2 tackles – both for losses – one sack and a pass batted down.

The Grossmont offense mustered 530 yards including 350 passing. Freshman quarterback BRAD CAGLE completed 16 of 33 passes for 168 yards and one touchdown.

“We beat them deep and beat them short,” Cagle said. “I had really good protection from the O-line. They have improved every week and this was their best effort yet.”

SPENCER MOYER came off the bench to complete 4 of 10 passes for 74 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown pass to DAN JOHNSON that tied the game 7-7 in the first quarter.

“We ran the no huddle for the first time,” Moyer said. “It was really effective considering we had the El Camino guys near exhaustion at the end of the first half. Our defense is phenomenal, and as long as they keep doing what they’ve been doing and we improve our offense every week, it should be a great year.”

A dozen Griffin receivers caught passes, led by DYLAN SPRADLING’s 5 grabs for 24 yards. JABRIL CLEWIS was a deep threat, catching 3 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown.

The most spectacular play of the night was a flea flicker by the Griffins’ southpaw MICHAEL LEDESMA. He hit a wide open Clewis for a 77-yard touchdown that tied the game at 14-all early in the second quarter.

In the final minutes of the first half the Griffins completed a 10-play, 80-yard drive which culminated in a 12-yard scoring junket by KEITH FULTON to take a 21-14 lead into the locker room.

Grossmont tacked on second half touchdowns on a 1-yard plunge by PERRY AFATO and a 31-yard strike from Cagle to SEBASTIAN SMITH to put the game away.


By Bill Dickens
© East County

SAN PEDRO (9-11-16) — On a night when the Grossmont College offense sputtered, the Griffins defense erased the deficit and rose to the occasion, posting five interceptions and returning three for touchdowns in a 37-27 victory over Los Angeles Harbor.

JORDAN ELLIS intercepted 2 passes for the second game in a row, returning one for 17 yards and a touchdown in the second quarter. It was his second pick six of the year.

JAMES JULIUS picked off a pass and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, giving the Griffins a 37-21 lead and sealing the victory over the Seahawks (1-1).

Grossmont also received interceptions from TYLER CLANTON and ANTON PAIGE.

“Offensively we weren’t firing on all eight cylinders,” said Griffins coach MIKE JORDAN. “But our defensive play was real special.”

In two games Grossmont now has 9 interceptions, which leads the state.

Freshman running back KEITH FULTON broke into the Grossmont offensive backfield for the first time and left his mark. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Fulton, from Metairie, GA, rushed for 123 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown run on 23 carries.

“There’s no doubt he was our standout on offense this week,” said Jordan.

Grossmont took the early lead on a 25-yard field goal by CONNER ERWIN with 6:19 left in the first quarter.

LA Harbor then took the lead on a 42-yard interception return for TD by Justice Augasa.

The Seahawks continued the momentum in the second quarter as Jalin Scott flipped a 2-yard pass to Darrion Jones to make it 14-3 in favor of LA Harbor.

The Griffins (2-0) then barged back on a 2-yard plunge by NEHEMIAH BROWN to make it 14-10.

Roderick Chapman bolted 100 yards on the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown that gave the Seahawks a 21-10 lead. The momentum was clearly in Harbor’s corner.

Grossmont had different ideas, however, as the Griffins scored 4 consecutive touchdowns to recover the lead. Ellis scored on an interception, Fulton scored on a 16-yard run, RODERICK WOODS scooped up a fumble and ran 37 yards for a score. Julius knocked in the final nail with his lengthy interception return for a touchdown.

With 6:20 to play Harbor scored but could never out maneuver the Griffins down the stretch.

Grossmont produced only 187 yards total offense, and Harbor collected 199.

“We’re getting better each week,” said Jordan. “But we have to cut down on the errors and polish up our offense.”

Brown finished with 48 yards rushing on 18 carries. He also returned 4 kickoffs for 88 yards and caught one pass for 14 yards.

It was not quarterback BRAD CAGLE’s night as he completed only 6 of 23 passes for 34 yards, and suffered 2 interceptions.

Grossmont’s leading receiver, ADRIAN TOLBERT, was shut out by the Seahawks’ double- and triple-team coverage.

Grossmont opens the home season next Saturday (Sept. 17) when they host state power El Camino at 3 p.m.

Grossmont 49, Mesa 21

By Bill Dickens

SAN DIEGO (9-4-16) — Grossmont College opened the season with an offensive eruption led by freshman quarterback BRAD CAGLE who helped the Griffins produce nearly 500 yards Saturday night (Sept. 3) and a 49-21 knockout of host San Diego Mesa College.

This was Cagle’s first game since leading El Capitan to a 14-1 record and the California State Bowl Game finals in 2014. He was coming off an injury of two years ago but did not appear to have lost his marksmanship as he completed 19 of 31 passes for 355 yards and 4 touchdowns in his Grossmont College debut.

“I was a grey shirt last season but I’m pretty pleased about helping out team to a good start like this,” said Cagle. “We were a little shaky and committed too many penalties in the early going, but once we got clicking in the second half we were able to put the game away.”

Overcoming a bevy of penalties, Grossmont managed to take a 15-0 first quarter lead. PERRY AFATO scored on a 1-yard plunge with 8:20 remaining in the first period.

Then Cagle took to the air. He fired a 7-yard touchdown pass to QUINTON VINZART that was capped by a 2-yard pass conversion to DAN JOHNSON to end the quarter.

After that the game turned into an offensive ping-pong match. Cagle hit SEBASTIAN SMITH for a 51-yard TD score and JABRIL CLEWIS for a 9-yard scoring strike.

It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when the Griffins went on a 21-0 scoring spree to put the game on ice. After Cagle fired a 15-yard scoring strike to ADRIAN TOLBERT, the Griffins put the game away on a 105-yard interception return by freshman JORDAN ELLIS (Valhalla), electrifying the crowd.

It was a Grossmont College record interception return. Ellis stepped in front of the intended Mesa receiver and broke into an end-to-end sprint with the Olympian receiver in hot pursuit. Not only was it a school record, it was the second interception of the night for Ellis.

“No question that was the key play of the game,” observed Cagle.

Back-up quarterback SPENCER MOYER added a stinger at the end of the game as he connected with Tolbert for an 83-yard touchdown strike. Tolbert finished the night with 4 catches for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Not to be overlooked was multi-talented running back NEHEMIAH BROWN, who rushed for 62 yards on 16 carries in a game that was a penalty fest. Brown had two touchdowns nullified by the officials despite garnering 136 total yards.

“It was pretty frustrating,” Brown admitted.

He had a punt return wiped out on a block to the back call, and a screen pass for a touchdown erased on a holding infraction. Had Brown reached the end zone without flags flying Grossmont would have won in a rout.

Brown missed most of last season with a hamstring strain but believes he’s back at full strength and will be “fit to play every game.”

“We have a great bunch of guys and I think we should have an outstanding season,” he added.

Last Updated: 09/26/2016
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