When Golden Valley dropped its Foothill League opener to Saugus in 17-0 fashion, coaches around the league expressed a degree of shock.
It wasn’t necessarily a shock that the Centurions came away with a victory, but that a Grizzlies team with an array of versatile pieces was kept off the board.
A pairing against Valencia the following week didn’t help, and the Grizzlies were held to seven points.
With that considered, it’s fair to say Golden Valley’s 38-0 win over Canyon last Friday seemed to be a matter of “when,” and not “if.”
“Two losses like that can take a toll on any team,” said Grizzlies coach Dan Kelley following the win. “But we know what kind of talent we bring to the table each week and these kids never quit on themselves.”
The Grizzlies (4-4, 1-2 Foothill League) showcased every bit of their versatility Friday, a versatility that makes them legitimate threats in CIF-Southern Section Division 6.
USC commit DeGabriel Floyd started the game under center in a wildcat formation and, paired with senior wideout Jalin Lewis, gave Canyon an impossible task in trying to contain the edge. Each accounted for two touchdowns, including a swing pass from Floyd to Lewis that went for a 70-yard touchdown.
Quarterback Zack Chevalier attempted only six passes in the win, one of which was a 40-yard touchdown to Ahvie Harris. D.J. Turner needed just eight carries to rack up 115 yards and a touchdown.
A win this week over Hart (5-3, 2-1) is going to be essential in the Grizzlies’ quest to lock up a playoff spot through the Foothill League. But, ranked at No. 3 in this week’s Division 6 poll, at at-large bid is far from out of question.
Thirty and counting
Valencia (7-1, 3-0) has decisively passed two of its biggest tests in the Foothill League in lopsided wins over Hart and Golden Valley, and punctuated that start with a 50-3 win over Saugus (4-4, 2-1), its 30th Foothill League win in a row.
Even more impressive, they won big without running back Moises Haynes as Jayvaun Wilson amassed 119 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries and Mykael Wright had three carries for 146 yards and two touchdowns.
It was also a productive week off the field for Wilson, who picked up offers from Nebraska and Utah, and Wright, who added Washington to his long list of Power Five offers.
SCCS thriving with new wrinkle
Cardinals quarterback Blake Kirshner’s eyes grew wide with excitement Saturday when asked about the impact of sophomore running back Lucas Pettee after the team’s 42-0 win over Capistrano Valley Christian.
“He’s keeping them honest,” said Kirshner, who threw for a season-high 412 yards in the win.
Working mostly out of the spread, Pettee has put up at least 100 yards on the ground in four of the team’s last five games. It’s likely not a coincidence that all three of the Cardinals’ 40-plus point efforts this year have come during those games.
SCCS (8-0, 3-0 San Joaquin League) is ranked No. 2 in the Division 13 poll.