Senior running back Tai Brown was the star of the night for Golden Valley, as the Grizzlies were able to fend off a late rally from Canyon to secure their first league win of the season, 31-23.
Brown finished with three touchdowns, taking on the ball-carrying duties after KJ Maduike went out with an ankle injury early in the contest.
“KJ tweaked his leg a little bit, but Tai Brown is a heck of a runner, and a hard runner,” said coach Dan Kelley, whose Grizzlies went to 5-3 overall and 1-2 in league. “These kids did a great job.”
Golden Valley quarterback Josh Valano found receiver Jalin Lewis from 11 yards out for the game’s first score three minutes in, and Brown added a 1-yard touchdown of his own shortly after to give Golden Valley an early 17-0 lead.
Canyon (4-4, 0-3) was able to pull even behind some big plays on offense. Quarterback Miles Fallin threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Camden Apsay in the second quarter, and running back Brandon Wilson added a 48-yard rumble right after halftime to make it 17-17 with the help of a field goal.
But it was not enough, as Golden Valley made sure it secured victory with two second half scores from Brown, and a timely interception from Lavelle Calvin.
“This is really special to me.” Brown said after the game. “I’m just so glad I could step up and do my thing.”
Golden Valley plays host to Hart next week, and Canyon goes on the road to play Saugus.