It’s a family affair for Taylor

Washington’s Grandville Taylor hurts the oppostion in many ways.The father handed the boy a football as soon as he could stand, watching proudly as he progressed from Pop Warner to a 6-foot, 186-pound fullback-linebacker at his alma mater.

The son idolizes the father, collecting his old trophies and pictures and even wearing the same red and white No. 34 Washington jersey his dad played in more than 20 years prior.

And now, Grandville Taylor and the Eagles are one win away from accomplishing about the only thing his father, also named Grandville, couldn’t in his days as a prolific prep player: Win a Turkey Bowl title. Washington (7-3) faces Lincoln (8-3) today at Kezar Stadium for the San Francisco Section championship, and the elder Taylor couldn’t be happier for his son.

“It’s funny how life works,” he said. “We lost in Turkey Day and couldn’t get that title, and now I have the chance to watch and see if my son can get one for the family.” The elder Taylor’s presence still has a place the proud program. He earned all-league honors as a fullback-linebacker in 1983 and 1984, and his school-record 395-pound bench press is still commemorated with a picture and his name in the weight room. It’s a point of pride for his son, who views his father’s accomplishments as something to aspire to rather than a burdensome expectation.

“He was great, a Hall of Fame player here,” said the junior, the fourth successive Grandville in his family. “And I know I can always get advice from him about what I did well and things I can work on.”

Taylor started to carve out his own legacy this season, recording a team-high 17 tackles in last week’s 34-16 semifinal upset win over Lowell and leading the Eagles with more than 100 tackles during the year. He also ran for 465 yards and six touchdowns on 86 carries while serving as Maurice’s Barton’s lead blocker.

“He always shows up early and is paying attention, thirsting for the knowledge of how to get better,” Washington coach Karl Finley said. “He’s the perfect example of what a football player and a young man should be.”

His greatest test to date comes today, when the Eagles try to slow down David Henderson and the Mustangs’ offense. Henderson ran for

200 yards and three touchdowns in Lincoln’s 28-26 regular-season win.

“As defenders, you love the challenge of trying to shut a guy like that down,” Taylor said. “We still feel like we have a lot to prove and we’re excited for another chance.”

And his dad, a welder who played football at City College of San Francisco, will be comfortably in the crowd hoping his son can add the one trophy missing from the family collection.

“He’s a great player,” the elder Taylor said. “And I’m his biggest fan.”

TURKEY BOWL AT KEZAR STADIUM

» Today: Lincoln (8-3) vs. Washington (7-3), 11 a.m.

<strong>By the numbers

LINCOLN

Rushing leaders: David Henderson , 240 carries, 2,068 yards, 26 TDs; Eric Beverly, 89-401, 5 TDs

Passing leader: Ronnie Marania, 42-for-87, 417 yards, 5 TDs/9 interceptions

Receiving leader: Michael Paolucci, 10 receptions, 60 yards

WASHINGTON

Rushing leaders: Maurice Barton , 119-1,035 yards, 9 TDs

Grandville Taylor, 86-465 yards, 6 TDs

Passing leader: Derf Butler, 76-125, 1,098 yards, 16 TD/ 7 interceptions

Receiving leader: Anthony Marshall 25-510, 8 TD

melliser@examiner.com

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