Prep Football: Granger 53, Murray 22
Murray gave Granger a scare in the first half Friday, but the Lancers turned it on in the second half and rolled to a 53-22 victory over the Spartans.
A few dazzling plays put the Spartans up early. The first came when Murray junior defensive back Ethan Barnett intercepted Granger senior Jairo Tarver and returned it 72 yards for a touchdown. Murray successfully executed a fake kick to convert the two-point conversion. The contingency of Spartans' fans in the west bleachers went crazy, but their excitement was short-lived.
After Murray kicked the ball out of the end zone to put the Lancers on the 20-yard line, senior running back James Elkins broke off an 80-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage to put Granger back in the game.
Late in the second quarter, Murray once again thought it had momentum. After the Spartans used a trick play to gain 43 yards on third-and-29, they punched it in from two yards out. That gave Murray a 22-13 lead with 21 second left to play in the first half. Again, Granger had an answer.
Lancer junior Kylon Pierre mishandled the ensuing kickoff, but he was able to scoop it up and he returned it 85 yards for a touchdown to cut Murray's lead to 22-19 going into halftime. But the Lancers got the message: the Spartans came to play.
Properly motivated, it was all Granger in the second half.
"We knew we were the better team, but we weren't in it mentally in the first half," Granger senior running back James Elkins said. "We put our foot down in the second half."
Junior running back Tani Lehauli put Granger up for good when he busted loose for a 59-yard touchdown run on the third play of the quarter. Lehauli ran for two more touchdowns and Elkins added another pair, including a 76-yarder. Granger outscored Murray 34-0 in the second half, improving to 2-0 this season.
"We still haven't put together a four-quarter game yet. We have only had one good half in each game," Granger coach Cecil Thomas said. "It's still early on, but we are heading in the right direction."