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Generals hang on for a homecoming win


Barlow misses on a two-point conversion that could have forced overtime

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID BALL - Grant quarterback Sam Davis rolls out during the third quarter of the teams 22-20 win over Barlow on Friday. The first half was filled with excitement Friday afternoon at Grant High. It was homecoming week and Detroit Lions defensive tackle and former General Ndamukong Suh was on hand to dedicate the first game played on the turf field at Grant Park.

The Generals did their part to keep the excitement going with three long scoring strikes, each of 20-yards or more, to build a quick 19-0 lead over Barlow.

The first half was fire works.

The second half was fizzle.

Grant had four drives after the intermission, resulting in a fumble, a punt, a turnover on downs and the clock expiring.

Meanwhile, Barlow fought its way back into the game and had a chance to tie the score when it took possession near midfield with 3:23 on the clock.

The Bruins were knocking on the door when Dillon Payne caught an 18-yard pass on 3rd-and-7, fighting to reach the end zone only to have the ball knocked loose at the 2-yard line. Teammate Hunter Roeder was quick to cover it up, giving Barlow 1st-and-goal as the clock rolled under a minute.

Roeder came up big again on the next play, reaching behind his helmet with one hand to pull down a 4-yard TD catch in the front of the end zone.

The Bruins were within 22-20 — a two-point conversion away from overtime.

Barlow QB Alex Plusquellec got his feet tangled while taking the snap, but still managed to get an off-balance throw into the air. Tight end Will Allen saw the ball fluttering his direction and cut back to make the catch. But in the lunging attempt, he slipped to the turf, killing the play at the 1-yard line.

No points. No overtime.

Grant secured the victory when Michael Kerns recovered an onsides kick with a pair of Bruins in heavy pursuit of the ball.

Three snaps in the victory formation, and the Generals were celebrating their first win of the year.

Grant’s Isaiah Pernell came up with an interception to end a Barlow drive in the fourth quarter.

The Bruins saw another drive come up empty when it failed on 4th-and-1, instead of sending out reliable kicker Zach Standish for a makeable 41-yard field goal attempt. Grant’s Tahri Robertson and Javon Carter stacked up Barlow’s running back for no gain on the play.

The Generals picked up what proved to be the winning points on the final play of the first half when Aidan Schneider booted a 20-yard field goal for a 22-7 lead at the break.

Grant was lining up to go for it on 4th-and-goal from the 2, but a false start backed the ball up five yards and the Generals sent out the field goal unit.

The key drive was kept alive when QB Sam Davis connected with Da’Marea Stigler for a 16-yard pass on 3rd-and-2.

Grant hosts Sprague at 7 p.m. next Friday at Lincoln High.

View a photo gallery of today’s game at …