Granite Falls edges King’s | Football

2 game-winning field goals are blocked
By David Pan | Oct 19, 2017

A King’s football team reeling from injuries up and down its lineup drove the length of the field and was in a position to pull out a victory over Granite Falls.

The Tigers, however, blocked two field goal attempts to escape with a 15-14 victory over the Knights in a Cascade Conference football game Friday, Oct. 13, at Granite Falls High School.

King’s led 14-7 heading into the fourth quarter, but the Tigers rallied and took a 15-14 lead when Brayden Counsellor scored on a 7-yard run and Camden Landrum successfully ran into the end zone on a 2-point conversion attempt with just over a minute left in the game.

The Knights (2-2 in the league, 3-4 overall) moved the ball down to the Granite Falls 10 before what would have been the winning field goal was blocked. The Tigers were called for a penalty and King’s got another chance to kick a field goal. The second attempt also was blocked and Granite Falls secured the victory.

“It wasn’t meant to be,” King’s coach Jim Shapiro said.

The Knights faced a number of challenges besides a strong 2A Granite Falls team. Two starting offensive linemen were out due to injuries. During Friday’s game, three wide receivers were knocked out of the contest, as was a starting running back.

The Knights’ backups played well, Shapiro said. “It was fun to see the next guys coming out and doing their best. I was proud of their mental toughness.”

Granite Falls’ winning drive was set up by a blocked King’s punt.

Coming into the game, Shapiro told his players he expected a playoff-type atmosphere and no one was disappointed.

“We were traveling away. It was their homecoming game. Their senior night,” Shapiro said. “It was cold. All the things you expect in playoff-style game. It came down to the end. It was not a playoff game, but it sure felt like it.”

King’s offense, led by the return of sophomore quarterback Luke Marion, successfully moved the ball between the 20s but stalled in the red zone. Marion threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brennon Blevins to give King’s a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

Counsellor’s 2-yard TD run in the second quarter tied the score at 7. The Knights retook the lead, 14-7, on a 2-yard run by Blevins in the third quarter.

Shapiro said that he and his coaching staff thought about trying to score a touchdown rather than kick a field goal at the end of the game.

“It definitely crossed our minds,” Shapiro said. “We felt the field goal was the best option. It proved to be wrong.”

Marion completed 20 of 36 passes for 237 yards and one touchdown. Running back Camden Hauck rushed for 75 yards on 14 carries and Blevins caught five passes for 103 yards.

King’s hosts Sultan (2-1, 2-5) at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 20, at Woolsey Stadium. The winner earns the No. 1 seed to the district playoffs, while the loser will be the No. 2 seed.

Shapiro said that eight starters were injured as of Monday, Oct. 16, but that the Knights were hoping to have at least two of them back for Friday’s game.

King’s has not lost anyone to season-ending injuries but since week one the team has been dealing with multiple injuries that have sidelined several players.

“I’ve been doing this for 24 years and I can’t remember a season like this,” Shapiro said.

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