When Golden Valley kicks off Friday night against Canyon, it’ll enter with 133 points on the season. Just three of those points have come on field goals, though. The Grizzlies have attempted only one field goal on the year, along with 13 extra points. It’s a bit of a transition from last year when first-team All-CIF-Southern Section kicker Gabriel Coronado made 7-of-10 field-goal attempts and 45-of-47 extra-point chances. An uptick in the Grizzlies’ kicking game looks to be on the way, with sophomore Carson Farber making his debut last Friday in the team’s loss to Valencia. Farber transferred from Canyon in the offseason and was forced to sit out the first five games of the season per CIF’s Sit Out Period. He converted his lone extra-point attempt against Valencia and adds another weapon to Grizzlies coach Dan Kelley’s arsenal.
“As a coach, it can be a headache not having a kicker,” Kelley said, “You’ll have kids who are trying to plead with you and say they can kick when they can’t. It’s not a fun situation. “Having a guy like (Farber) gives me an extra level of confidence with the offense.” Kelley admits he hadn’t really been paying attention to the lack of field goals and didn’t believe he was seeing many field goals throughout the Foothill League. He certainly isn’t off. Hart’s Aaron Rodriguez leads the league with four field goals in seven attempts, according to MaxPreps. Golden Valley’s Josh Jimenez, with one make, is just one behind Saugus’ Tanner Brown for second in the league. Kelley has still been getting the kind of production from his special teams unit that he seeks. “For me, I’m more concerned with field position and if we can stretch the field with a great punt or be able to consistently kick off into the end zone,” he said. Kelley lauded Farber’s performance in both the punting and kickoff game during his debut last week. He also was enamored at the prospect of having a sophomore kicker to develop. The kicking game hasn’t weighed heavily on Kelley’s mind of late, with the team dropping its first two league games. The Grizzlies are more concerned with recapturing the magic that got them out to a 3-1 start. “I’m not nearly as worried about what Canyon’s going to do as much as I’m focusing on ourselves, and putting together a good four quarters,” Kelley said. “That’s going to be the biggest key for us to start to turn things around.”