Golden Valley football faces challenge in Crescenta Valley

Golden Valley's Jordan Anderson (2) keeps Highland's Ezekiel Newson (8) at arm's length as he heads for the endzone during the first football game of the season against Highland of Palmdale at Canyon High School on Friday, August 25, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

The Golden Valley football team, which was ranked second in the latest Division 6 polls released earlier this week, faces its first true test of the season when the Grizzlies play fellow CIF-SS-ranked Crescenta Valley on Friday at Glendale High School.

“This is a playoff-type game,” said coach Dan Kelley. “They don’t get any better than this. It’s a big game for both teams early in this season.”

The Grizzlies (2-0) have cruised to early wins against Highland and Royal, and Kelley said the team keeps improving.

“I think we are getting better every week,” Kelley said. “We’ve cleaned up our mistakes, which is what you want to see. Our defense has been playing well and our offense continues to come together.

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“We’re still trying to work on putting together the perfect game, which everyone is trying to do at this moment.”

But it won’t be a cake walk against Crescenta Valley (1-0), who is ranked fourth in Division 6.

“They’re very talented,” Kelley said. “They are really well coached on both sides of the ball. The quarterback would be the best quarterback we faced so far.”

Kelley believes clock management and control of the ball will be important for his team to be successful on Friday.

“We’re going to have to play disciplined on defense and going to have to move the ball on offense,” Kelley said. “We also need to manage the game better.”

To do so, the Grizzlies would need strong games from seniors Ahvie Harris and DJ Turner.

Harris has scored three touchdowns so far for Golden Valley, according to Turner has 151 rushing yards and a score this season.

Golden Valley will also be looking to junior DeGabriel Floyd, who has four touchdowns in two games.

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