By Tony Ciniglio
For The Signal
It was a thing of beauty.
Golden Valley quarterback Zack Chevalier lofted a perfect pass to Alemany transfer Johnathan Kaelin, who caught it, spun around and darted toward the end zone for a nifty 39-yard
touchdown play in the second quarter.
“Me and Johnny have been working on that every day at practice — back shoulder fade. We finally got to do it on someone,” Chevalier said.
“Every day at practice. Every day after practice. We practiced that so much,” Kaelin said, laughing.
Though Golden Valley ultimately fell 33-26 to Fullerton in a back-and-forth nonleague game Friday night at Canyon High, there was a lot more positive to accentuate for a young Golden Valley squad despite an 0-3 start.
After managing just 199 total yards and getting outscored 108-14 in lopsided losses to Highland and Antelope Valley, Golden Valley started flashing some of that potential that still has Grizzlies coach Dan Kelley so excited.
Golden Valley is decidedly different from last year’s squad that advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division 6 final, but Kelley saw progress on Friday night.
“It was like day and night from the last two weeks,” Kelley said. “Everybody always tells me that we have a lot of young talent. When we connect on a play or make a big stop, man, you
see it. We just have to be more consistent.”
Chevalier completed 14-of-21 passes for 222 yards, one touchdown and one interception while also scoring on an 18-yard run.
Kaelin opened the scoring with a 6-yard run and added the back-shoulder 39-yard touchdown catch to help Golden Valley to a 13-6 halftime lead.
Christopher Alcantar added a 7-yard scoring run late in the game to help close the gap and finished with 57 yards on 13 carries.
“Tonight we competed all the way to the end,” Chevalier said. “That’s the one thing we struggled with in the first couple of weeks. We did not play four quarters. Today we played all four
quarters. We just got bested by a touchdown, but we competed really hard.
“For the first time, there were a lot more positives than negatives.”
As with most young teams, there were a few mistakes that doomed Golden Valley.
Fullerton’s Jakob Garcia had a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown in the opening minute of the second half.
Golden Valley lost a fumble on a potential tying drive in the fourth quarter, and it also gave up a pair of touchdowns to Fullerton’s Arthur Shaw out of the Wildcat formation in the
fourth quarter for Fullerton (2-1).
“We’ve got a great football team, but we just made a few too many mistakes tonight,” Kelley said. “You can’t have a pick-6 or turn the ball over or have an illegal man downfield,
that kind of stuff. We’re going to watch film, and we’re going to improve.”
Kaelin finished with four catches for 89 yards. Antonio Abrego had three catches for 56 yards, and Logan Morrison had four catches for 51 yards.
“We’ve got a lot of young talent,” Kaelin said.
“We made some mistakes, but those can be fixed. We’ve got film tomorrow, practice Monday and we’ll fix it.”