There were times last Friday when Dan Kelley felt his team looked the part of a well-oiled machine, and there were times he felt that machine’s wheels fell off.
Ultimately, the night ended in a commanding 30-0 win over Highland of Palmdale and provided talking points this week as the Grizzlies prepared for a trip to Royal of Simi Valley on Friday.
“This is the time of year when everybody is making mistakes,” Kelley said, “and if you can’t learn from them, you’re not going to get any better. Our kids saw the film, and we’ve been working hard on those things.”
One area of focus was fine-tuning the quarterback-center exchange, as bad snaps cost the Grizzlies an estimated 35 yards, Kelley said.
The coach praised quarterbacks Zachary Chevalier and Logan Morrison for managing the game and managing to find Ahvie Harris and DeGabriel Floyd.
Harris caught three passes for 117 yards and three touchdowns.
Floyd caught four passes for 99 yards and a score.
Both QBs, each of whom threw two TD passes, will play again this week. Junior Gary Rowe will see time at quarterback, too, Kelley said.
Rowe, a transfer, was cleared by the CIF on Wednesday.
Friday, the Grizzlies will look for a second straight win over Royal after falling to the Highlanders in the teams’ seven previous meetings, according to MaxPreps.
“They always give us a game, and they’re well coached,” Kelley said. “That has a lot to do with it, and they have some great ballplayers.”
Kelley said this year’s Highlanders (1-0) are physical on defense, with good size. And good momentum: Royal opened with a 28-22 win over Buena of Ventura last week.
Friday’s game has been pushed back to a 7:30 p.m. start after the junior varsity game was moved to 5 p.m. due to the heat wave.
Burbank at Canyon, 7:30 p.m.
The Cowboys (0-1) are coming off a tough road loss to Moorpark High, but that hasn’t distracted them from the goal this season.
“It’s about getting one percent better and making positive steps,” said coach Rich Gutierrez.
Canyon will have the chance to work on its percentage against Burbank at home on Friday.
The Bulldogs (1-0) earned a 23-8 win over Monrovia last week. Running back Darnell Williams had 90 yards in the game, while receiver Duncan Smith caught seven passes for 60 yards, according to MaxPreps.
The excessive heat forced Canyon inside for most of this week, which has, in turn, forced them to watch more film than usual. Both Williams and Smith nabbed the team’s attention, Gutierrez said.
Canyon’s Shawn Gallagher will be getting his second varsity start at quarterback after showing grit in the first game.
“Going out there for the first time under the lights, he took advantage of it and he tried to drive the competitiveness,” Gutierrez said.
Cowboys Anthony Gutierrez and Roland Hardson had strong showings on defense, while Byron Ocampo showed development as an interior lineman.
“There was not one kid that was negative,” Gutierrez said. “My goal is for the boys to compete and get better and try to get stronger.”
West Ranch at Burroughs of Burbank, 7 p.m.
Burroughs coach Mike Reily saw West Ranch at the annual Saugus Under the Lights Passing Tournament in June.
“They just had some great looking kids,” Reily told the Burbank Leader this summer.
That was without pads, but the Wildcats looked just about as good in full gear last week, rolling up 565 yards of total offense and 55 points in a rout of Simi Valley.
Burroughs didn’t play in week zero, but is coming off a 4-6 season like West Ranch. The Indians are unranked in the latest CIF-Southern Section Division 8 poll.
West Ranch dropped two spots this week to No. 9 in Division 9.
Check back tomorrow for Valencia, Hart, Saugus and SCCS previews