Le Grand grinds out a victory over Mariposa in Southern League showdown

11/02/2013 1:02 AM

11/02/2013 8:09 PM

The Le Grand High football team needed something to wake it from a first-half funk on Friday night.

The capacity crowd at The Fog had been lulled into submission by turnovers and untimely penalties as it looked like the fifth Green and Gold might go into halftime all tied up.

Two seniors answered the call for the Bulldogs in a wild last 2 minutes, 34 seconds of the opening half.

Ryan Martinez broke free for a 59-yard touchdown run and Eduardo Bedolla forced a fumble with a bone-crunching sack on Mariposa's next possession that led to another score. Le Grand never looked back in a 33-20 victory over their rivals.

"We always preach about keeping it to the grind," Bulldogs head coach Rick Martinez said. "As long as we make some stops here and keep doing what we do, we'll break it.

"Once we got the turnover we were in good shape. They kept fighting, but we were pretty much in control after that."

The younger Martinez helped see to that.

With wide receiver Christian Williams a little banged up, Le Grand (9-0, 6-0 Southern League) rode its senior tailback.

Martinez carried 28 times for 313 yards — just missing out on his own school record — and four touchdowns.

None was bigger than his second score, which he delivered on the first play from scrimmage after Karmare Bailey had tied up the game with a 3-yard touchdown run.

It brought the crowd and Le Grand's defense to life as Bedolla forced the fumble three plays later.

Williams hauled in a 41-yard pass to give the Bulldogs a first-and-goal, and Frank Contreras hit Victor Martinez for a 3-yard TD pass to make it 21-7 at halftime.

Martinez all but put the game away late in the third quarter when he broke a 70-yard touchdown run to make it 27-7.

Mariposa (7-2, 4-1 SL) wouldn't go away, however.

Aaron Lerma (256 passing yards) connected with Kendall Robinson for a 48-yard TD pass to answer, but the Grizzlies never got back within two scores.

Le Grand will take on Ripon Christian next week for the SL title.

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