Johnsburg is a long way from Pamplona, Spain. But the performance by one football team Friday at Johnsburg High School resembled the main players in a renowned Spanish festival.
Call it the Running of the Bulldogs.
Grant stayed exclusively on the ground and charged past the host Skyhawks 42-7 on opening night in nonconference play.
Grant (1-0) amassed over 350 rushing yards in the contest. Over half of those yards came in the first quarter with Grant scoring on its first three offensive drives. Andy Cacchione capped the 60-yard opening drive with a run from 5 yards.
After a Skyhawk punt, fullback Jonathan Wells (game-high 171 yards) scampered 85 yards to make it 14-0. Grant's defense then forced a fumble and Kyle Whitman (64 yards rushing), in his first game at quarterback, ran for a 23-yard score.
"We felt really good going out," said Wells. "We had confidence in our offense. We have three returning lineman and myself and Kyle (Whitman) running the ball. We felt that we were going to do well, and we did."
"Whitman did not do too badly in his first game at QB," said Grant coach Kurt Rous "We had a few fumbles and hopefully we will be able to clear that up because we had 7 fumbles in Week 2 last year."
"We came out strong," said Whitman. "However, we lost focus a little bit. I learned that I have to take a bit more leadership. It helped to see what our flaws were along with what we were doing well."
Both Whitman and Wells praised the offensive line of Tyler Reynolds, Andrew Parker, Jared Lalanda, Luis Echeverria, and Dan Haeffele, along with tight-ends Andy Preidis and Francisco Uribe.
"They were everything tonight," said Whitman and Wells.
Wells and Cacchione combined for three more scores in the second and third quarters to force a second-half running clock.
Johnsburg (0-1) was kept in check by the Grant defense all evening, but grabbed a late touchdown in the fourth quarter as Mike Conroy hauled in a 35 yard pass from Nate Brengman.