Golden Valley, West Ranch post high marks at Saugus passing tourney


Gary Rowe was adjusting to a new playbook, a new school, a new town. Fortunately for Golden Valley, Ahvie Harris didn’t have to adjust to the transfer quarterback’s deep pass in the closing moments of the Grizzlies’ 7-on-7 game versus Hart on Saturday.

Rowe’s final strike hit Harris in stride and lifted Golden Valley to a 16-12 win over the Indians in the final game of the second-place bracket of the annual Saugus Under the Lights Passing Tournament.

“I saw the two safeties split, and I saw my open receiver and tried to get it to him,” said Rowe, a rising junior who transferred to Golden Valley from West Torrance earlier this week.

Golden Valley coach Dan Kelley pumped both fists in the air after Harris crossed the goal line at Central Park, but, afterward, he downplayed wins and losses at passing tournaments.

“I want to see us win,” said Kelley, who also liked what he saw from quarterback Logan Morrison, “but winning isn’t everything in this thing. It’s about defense. It’s playing team football. It’s quarterback development.”

Golden Valley went 4-1 on the day, as did West Ranch.

Hart finished 3-2. Saugus was 3-3, Trinity Classical Academy 2-3 and Canyon 2-4.

Paraclete of Lancaster took first place.

West Ranch transfer quarterback Colton Mitchell, from Texas, spent the daylong event finding the Camacho twins, Ryan and Jovan, and Jared Staub.

“We’ve only had him for a couple months, and he’s getting in the groove,” said West Ranch coach Chris Varner. “He has all the eyeball stuff that you want. He has the height and arm strength. It’s just learning the new system, new kids and everything.”

The Wildcats beat Canyon 43-19 in the third-place bracket, then closed with a 38-31 win over Burbank.

Canyon dropped its finale 31-29 to Mira Costa, though Cowboys quarterback Shawn Gallagher connected with Conner Reyes on a long catch-and-run touchdown and a few shorter passes.

“I think Shawn makes good decisions,” said Canyon coach Rich Gutierrez, of the rising junior. “I like the way he throws the ball.”

Hart rising-senior quarterback JT Shrout, bearer of more NCAA Division 1 offers by the day, looked the part Saturday. He connected with Da’Von Jones on two long touchdowns against Moorpark. He hit DJ Palmer over the top of the Golden Valley defense in the final game of the day.

Saugus was playing without 2016 starting quarterback Nathan Eldridge after the rising senior tweaked his shoulder earlier this week.

“Our guys are just trying to get better at this point,” said Centurions coach Jason Bornn.

Trinity closed with wins over Burroughs and Hart’s junior varsity.

Hart’s JV and Saugus’ JV each beat Sylmar.

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