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Grizz open season with success

GRANTS PASS - Each team only had nine offensive plays — to prove itself on the 40-yard field, but the Grants Pass Jamboree was — enough for the Grizz football team to show the Southern Oregon Conference — this is not last year's last-place squad.

"We got really fired up coming out here," senior tight — end Jeff Skinner said. "We wanted to prove something. I think we did."

Frustrated by the cellar-dwelling No. 9 preseason rating — in the SOC and hoping to improve on its 0-8 conference mark in 2003, the — Ashland High football team hit the field for abbreviated scrimmages against — the Crater, Eagle Point, Grants Pass and West Albany teams on Thursday — night.

Though no official stats or scores were kept, the Grizzlies — kept pace with each opponent and scored in three of the four match-ups. —

"I was pleased with a lot of things," second-year Grizz — head coach David Coldiron said. "The kids played good, solid defense and — the moved the ball around on offense."

The Ashland squad started off slow, scoring just once — against West Albany High in the first game of the evening. Junior quarterback — Sam Littleton threw two interceptions in his first varsity start.

"He kept getting better in every play, every new series — of challenges," Coldiron said. "He kept getting better and that's all — you can ask of anyone."

The second scrimmage versus Eagle Point gave Littleton — a chance to showcase his scrambling abilities when he used a quarterback-keeper — to get a first down on Ashland's first possession. Two downs later, the — Grizzlies squirted out the ball on a carry for their third turnover of — the evening. Ashland couldn't match the Eagles' lone touchdown score, — losing its second scrimmage.

"Everything needs to get better," Coldiron said. "Even — though we're pleased with everything, it's still not in tiptop shape. — I think the thing we need to focus on is consistency - one play would — be great and then the next one not."

Against Grants Pass, Ashland's third draw in the jamboree, — the Grizzlies held the Cavemen in two fourth-down situations and kept — Grants Pass scoreless. When Ashland took over on offense, the Grizzlies — pounded downfield on a Littleton carry, a 9-yard pass to junior Aaron — SanNicholas and then Littleton connected with Skinner for the only score — of the game.

"I think we had a really good breakout scrimmage," senior — linebacker Alex

Aleccia said.

Ashland took the momentum from the win over Grants Pass — into its final game versus Crater, scoring twice during its nine possessions. — Senior David Jacobson-Freid made it into the end zone on a 1-yard scramble, — then sophomore Jedidiah Patton caught a touchdown pass to push Ashland — ahead of the Comets and win its second scrimmage of night and defeat two — SOC teams.

"You still don't know," Coldiron said about the caliber — of the conference teams the Grizzlies played. "There's still a lot of — questions."

Ashland, of course, still has points to work on going — into next Friday's preseason match-up against Rex Putnam of the PIL, but — the team is confident on it's abilities.

"Obviously, we want to make the playoffs and we all believe — we can," Skinner said. "We just have to work hard and get better."