Lancers football team has positive outlook on tough seasonOct 05, 2021 10:30AM ● By Greg James
Senior quarterback Ricky Mamone threw for three touchdowns in the team’s first win of the season over Taylorsville. (Greg James/City Journals)
By Greg James | [email protected]
The Granger High School football team has not thrown in the towel even through a difficult season.
“This season has certainly been a learning curve,” head coach Pala Vaitu’u said. “We have been teaching all summer a positive mindset. We want them to be positive in how we act and how we deal with adversity.”
The teams first five games did not produce the results the team expected. They lost all of those games. Including two by more than 40 points, but they never gave up.
The Lancers traveled across town to take on the Taylorsville Warriors. The beginning of the game did not look much different as the Warriors jumped out with a touchdown two plays in and also recovered a fumble.
As the Warriors inched closer to another first quarter score the Lancer defense turned up the intensity and stopped them on the 17-yard line. The turnaround captured the momentum and the Lancers never looked back.
The team’s dual-threat at quarterback has become effective. It opened up the run game and led to some big plays.
Senior running back Chris Ailua broke a right side run to tie the game and shortly afterward, senior quarterback Ricky Mamone hit Anthony Misi on a 21-yard pass.
On the ensuing two-point conversion Mamone showed off his diversity. He seemed to be destined to a tackle in the backfield. His strong arm and determination carried two tacklers into the end zone for the conversion.
“Yea, both of our quarterbacks have been incredible at leading this team,” Vaitu’u said.
Mamone was not done, as the first half neared the whistle he threw a 68-yard bomb. The last second touchdown helped Granger to a 21-10 halftime lead.
Garret Cousins also saw time behind center. He completed a 13-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.
“This group of kids is 68% freshman and sophomore. They are a young team that is learning to compete right now. The great thing about them is that they listen. Everything we tell them is like scripture and they soak it up,” Vaitu’u said.
Granger held on for a 43-10 victory, its first of the season.
“It feels good for our team. We needed this and we need to continue to build on it and go from here,” Vaitu’u said. “We are starting to click at the right time.”
The Lancers are scheduled to host their final home game Oct. 1 against Kearns. They will finish the season on the road against Roy, Oct. 7 and West Oct. 13.
“These kids don’t quit. They play to the whistle and the end of the game. I am proud of them for that,” Vaitu’u said. “I remember when we started here and we were teaching passing routes. We told the kid to run a 12-yard dig and he ran all the way down the field to the 12-yard line. We have learned a lot since then.”