Despite failing to complete a pass all season, California high school earns spot in state championship

A California high school won a spot in its state championship in an improbable fashion.

Granada Hills Charter High School has managed to go 12-2 on the season and earn a spot in the 4-A state championship football bowl game.

Winning 12 games is certainly an accomplishment, but the unusual part was that the team did not complete a pass during the entire season.

The team from the Granada Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles opted to run a particular old-school style of offense, which almost completely ignored the vertical passing game. Granada Hills only attempted seven passes over the course of the season.

Two players threw those seven passes, senior Dijon Stanley and freshman Isaac Delgado, all of which fell incomplete. Stanley went 0 for 2 on the year, meanwhile, Delgado failed to complete any of his five pass attempts.

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The team's rushing attack was formidable, with Stanley being the team's primary running threat.

The senior amassed 2,397 yards on 188 carries, averaging just shy of 200 yards per contest. Stanley also scored 32 touchdowns.

"We’ve been doing this all year," Stanley told the Los Angeles Times. "It’s not really weird to us. We always say we would rather be great at one thing than be good at a lot of things."

The Highlanders were able to rack up 5,413 rushing yards and 75 touchdowns on the year. The team averaged an impressive 416.3 rushing yards per game.

Former NFL return specialist Bucky Brooks serves as the team's head coach and is the architect of the vaunted double-wing offense.

"I think the challenge that you have sometimes as a coach is, are you married to systems or are you married to what works well for what you have?" Brooks told the Los Angeles Times.

Brooks has served as the team's coach since 2019. Granada Hills has passed for one score during his tenure.

Granada Hills is the alma mater of legendary NFL quarterback John Elway.

The running-focused offense allowed the team to score at least 40 points in 10 games. Granada Hills largely dominated its opponents during the season, including its 44–7 victory over Palisades in the section title game.

Granada Hills scored more than 50 points in almost half of their games. The team also features strong defensive and special teams units.

The Highlanders are set to play San Marin High School from Novato for the Division 4-A state championship on Saturday.

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