By Andrea Camarena

Homecoming queens, parades and track inaugurations weren't enough to get another victory out ot the Monarchs last Friday when they hosted the Granite Hills Grizzlies for EUHS' 43rd Homecoming on Sept. 24.

In a back and forth battle at Exeter Stadium, the Monarchs came up short when all they could squeeze out in the fourth quarter was a safety that left them trailing 23-29 at the last whistle.

The Monarchs -17 yards of rushing was no match for the Grizzlies 341 in Exeter's second loss of the season.

After a shaky third quarter, Monarch quarterback Drew Branch stayed strong through the end of the fourth leaving the field with 250 passing yards. Overall, the Grizzlies had the Moanarchs beat with 377 gained yards over the Monarchs 233.

The heartbreaking game opened with a scoreless first quarter as the Monarchs offense was shutdown. Despite the hold against the Grizzly offense in the first quarter, Granite Hills Gabe Martinez slipped through the Monarch offense running in one yard for the first mark on the board at 11:41 in the second quarter.

Exeter didn't have a chance to get back into the game when they fumbled the ball away to Granite Hills. With 5 minutes left in the half, Granite Hills running back Carlos Herrera, raced down the field 58 yards for a touchdown bumping up the Grizzly lead to a painful 0-14.

Regaining possession, the Monarchs moved the ball into Grizzly territory and landed on the 1 yard line leaving Branch no choice but to run it in himself.

With 26 seconds left in the half, the Monarchs landed on the board, closing out the quarter trailing by 7.

Rejuvinated, the Monarch offense stepped onto the field in the third quarter and in five minutes, Branch found wide receiver Cory Griffinin the endzone with an 18-yard pass tying the game at 14.

Exeter didn't stop there. Branch hit another wide receiver sitting in the endzone on a 35-yard touchdown pass to put the Monarchs up 20-14.

With 3:35 left in the third quarter, Granite Hills parked themselves at the Monarchs one yard line where the Grizzlies tight end Leo Velasquez stepped across the line to go one up on Exeter 20-21.

The situation worsened for the Monarch offense when Herrera sacked Branch for a safety to close the quarter. The lead lasted as the game rolled into the third quarter at 20-23.

Herrera, who rushed 33 times for 292 yards for the night, made his final touchdown when he ran the ball in one yard to bring the Grizzlies to 29. With 5:40 left in the game, kicker Matt Jacob's 35-yard field goal brouth the Monarchs within six. However, the Monarchs were unable to score again giving Grantie Hills its second win of the season for a 2-2 record.

Branch ended the night with no interceptions but the offense turned over the ball on two fumbles. Exeter is 1-2 heading into East Sequoia League play. Exeter opens league play on at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1 when they travel to Cororan.

The Corcoran Panthers will be looking for their first win after opening the season with three straight losses. Corcoran has been outscored 91-29 by opponents.

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