The 2017 high school football season has come to an end for the Gridley Bulldogs and the Biggs Wolverines.
Great seasons by both teams ended in the CIF Northern Section semifinals.
Gridley, a year removed from a 1-9 season, went 8-2 in the regular season and earned a No. 4 seed in the Division 3 bracket. The Bulldogs defeated Corning, 28-7 in the first round, setting up a rematch with BVL nemesis Sutter, the No. 1 seed.
The Huskies prevailed, 55-13 on a windy night at the foot of the Sutter Buttes. indicative of
Often, the final score of a game isn't completely indicative of how competitive the game really is.
This was one of those games.
Sutter (11-1) jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but Gridley answered with a nice drive to halve the Huskie advantage.
Gridkey senior quarterback Jace Villapania was a perfect 5-for-5 for 68 yards on the drive, which culminated with a 16-yard TD pass to tight end Wyatt Dreesmann.
But that would be as close as the Bulldogs would get on the night, as Sutter's power running game took over. The Huskies led 34-7 at halftime.
The Bulldogs finish 2017 at 9-3.
For first-year Gridley coach Matt Kemmis, the future looks bright.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my boys," an emotional Kemmis said after the game. "I came up here in March and everything I’ve asked of them, they’ve complied with. They worked their tails off, and at the end of the season we were still improving and still climbing, and that’s awesome to see as a coach.We knew we had a tough opponent tonight. It was pretty lopsided the first time we played them, and I don’t think the score tonight was reflects how competitive it was.”
For the Bulldog seniors, who played for four coaches in four years, it was a bitter pill to swallow.
But Kemmis said the big group of seniors - 12 in all - helped set the tone for future success for Gridley football.
"Great group of kids," Kemmis said. "We'll miss them."
Villapania wrapped up his high school career completing 16-of-34 passes for 170 yards abd two tds.
Junior running back Jorge Moran added 61 yards on four carries, including a 51-yard scamper.
Meanwhile, at Chester, the No. 5 Wolverines fell to the No. 4 Volcanoes, 28-16.
The Wolverines (7-5) finished the 2017 season at 7-5 a year after winning the section title.
Biggs led 16-14 entering the decisive fourth quarter, but the Volcnoes ripped off 14 unanswered points to pull away on s cold, snowy night in the mountains.
Biggs loses 20 seniors off this year's team.