The game billed as a matchup of two of the Foothill League’s best defenses turned out to be all about the big play Friday.
Golden Valley wide receiver Jalin Lewis caught touchdowns of 72, 29 and 43 yards from quarterback Josh Valano in the first half.
Valencia quarterback Aaron Thomas hit Mykael Wright for a 63-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Vikings running back Jayvaun Wilson broke away for an 82-yard touchdown run and averaged 31 yards on six carries for the night.
After halftime, Valencia’s defense shut out Golden Valley en route to a 45-19 win. But the night, simply put, belonged to electric offense.
“(Lewis) has done some things that I’ve never seen a wide receiver do in my 22 years of coaching,” said Golden Valley coach Dan Kelley of the 6-foot junior wideout. “His ability to go up for the ball and get open, and then his ability to get separation from defensive backs (is exceptional).
“He’s definitely a special ballplayer.”
Much has been made of the Grizzlies defense and even their running game, but Lewis has now caught 36 passes for 702 yards and six touchdowns through seven games.
Golden Valley’s single-season receiving record is 845 yards, set by David Malinoski in 2007.
Lewis, who regularly watches YouTube highlights of Los Angeles Rams receiver Tavon Austin for inspiration, hauled in 10 passes for 209 yards and the three TDs Friday, but the Vikings sent more coverage his way starting in the second quarter to limit his impact down the stretch.
That’s when Wilson, a sophomore, made his biggest mark.
The Vikings went to their “big” package at their own 18-yard line in the third quarter.
The package features so many offensive linemen that Thomas and coach Larry Muir recently had to stop and count them off mentally one by one.
Ultimately, it includes six linemen, two fullbacks and a tight end. Wilson took a pitch in the backfield, burst through the line and broke away up the sideline for an 82-yard score.
“He’s our speed and our heavy hitter,” Thomas said. “When we need to hit a heavy hole, he hits it. He also has the speed to break away. He’s able to make good moves on defensive players, so we use him that way, too.”
Wilson carried the ball six times for 190 yards, according to MaxPreps. He also caught a touchdown from Thomas, who completed 12-of-21 passes for 190 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
Three of his TD passes went to Wright, the longest of which went 63 yards and tied the score 7-7.
“As the weeks go by, we’re becoming more in sync,” Thomas said.