No Shaq Thompson.
No Villiami Moala.
Still, Grant, ranked third nationally by ESPN RISE and No. 1 in California, had plenty of shine.
Terry Shine, that is.
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The junior quarterback was nearly flawless on Friday evening, engineering a big--play offense that was without two of its biggest pieces for most of the game.
Shine and a never-ending stream of running backs shouldered the load. Shine accounted for three touchdowns and completed 10-of-14 passes for 193 yards, highlighting a 55-7 rout of Merced on Friday evening.
Grant (5-0) scored on all five of its possessions in the second quarter and trotted into the locker room with a comfortable 34-0 cushion.
The lead only slightly numbed the loss of its two All-American-caliber stars.
Thompson scored the game's first touchdown on a 2-yard run, but left midway through the second quarter with a high ankle sprain.
Minutes later, Moala, a 6-foot-3, 340-pound noseguard, had to be carried off the field with a knee injury.
Moala was blocked to the ground by two Merced players and landed awkwardly. He lay there on the turf for more than 10 minutes as a physician, trainers and coaches circled his right leg.
"I just can't move my leg," Moala said, writhing in pain.
A Merced physician said Moala likely dislocated his knee cap.
Neither player returned.
It didn't seem to slow down Grant, which scored more than 50 points for the fourth consecutive game.
Shine scored on back-to-back runs in the second quarter to make it 24-0, and then zipped an 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Darryl Paulo to stretch the lead to 31.
Then, with less than 3 minutes left in the half, he marched Grant down the field, setting up Charlie Vue's second field goal with a 16-yard scramble and 23-yard toss.
Merced (2-3) didn't cower -- even as the game slipped away from it.
For the first 12 minutes Merced hung with the 2008 CIF Open Division champions, building on small victories.
A first down here.
A defensive stand there.
However, Merced simply couldn't solve Grant's big, aggressive defense. The yardage totals told the story: Grant 419 (226 rushing/193 passing); Merced 136 (112/24).
Merced quarterback Rudy Monteon missed on his first 10 throws and had two interceptions land in the hands of Ference Lang.
Running back Eric DeAnda was bottled up for most of the game, before scoring Merced's lone touchdown against Grant's second unit late in the fourth.
He had 89 yards on 20 carries, 60 of which came in the fourth.
At Merced College
Grant 7 27 7 6 -- 55
Merced 0 0 0 7 -- 7
G -- Shaq Thompson 2 run (Charlie Vue kick)
G -- Vue 34 field goal
G -- Terry Shine 2 run (Vue kick)
G -- Shine 5 run (Vue kick)
G -- Darryl Paulo 11 pass from Shine (Vue kick)
G -- Vue 35 field goal
G -- Semisi Paea 6 run (Vue kick)
G -- Melvin Boldenq 3 run (kick failed)
M -- Eric DeAnda 5 run (Robert Stowe kick)
Records: Grant 5-0; Merced 2-3.
JV -- Grant won, 14-10.