Kicking off the first game of the season on Friday night, the Golden Valley Grizzlies traveled to Palmdale to take on the Highland Bulldogs in a rematch of last season’s 30-0 opening week shutout.
Losing 46-7, the Grizzlies (0-1) couldn’t get their act together in time, falling to the Bulldogs.
“Something came out and I think we were thinking too much instead of playing,” said Grizzlies quarterback Zack Chevalier. “I know this isn’t our team, this isn’t our team. I’ve played football for a long time now and I know when teams are good and when teams are bad, we just need to figure things out. I’m not here to make excuses about anything. Whether we are young or we’re hurt, whatever that’s all stuff that shouldn’t matter. We need to be better than this and we will get better than this. I’ll put it in writing now, you will see a different team next week.”
Heading into their first game of the 2018 season, the Grizzlies were as confident as ever, but nerves and inexperience showed in the first quarter as silly false starts and miscommunication between Chevalier and his receiving corps played a big factor throughout the game.
Chevalier finished the game with 95 yards on 8-20 throws with one interception.
”There were a couple times where we were just trying things on the fly,” Chevalier said. “We had back-to-back plays where we had some miscommunication with the type of route I wanted to run so that’s just stuff we are going to breakdown tomorrow in film, but we can’t have that.”
Connecting with sophomore wide receivers Carlos Meza and Antonio Abrego early, the Grizzlies passing offense looked like they were hitting their stride at the end of the first quarter.
Driving in Highland territory, Chevalier connected with wideout Zachary Perez on a 31-yard reception to set up Golden Valley’s only touchdown of the game, as Tyler Walker punched it in from the 4-yard line.
Walker was the primary running threat throughout the game for the Grizzlies, finishing with 55 yards rushing on 13 carries with one touchdown and a reception for four yards. Walker also intercepted a pass on the second drive of the game for the Bulldogs, but it didn’t materialize into anything.
“I did score and I did get an interception, but to me, all this doesn’t matter to me,” Walker said. “This is a team sport. I could have done better as a person, I could have made more tackles, I could have done a lot more and the list could go one. Today the negative outweigh the positives.”
Reiterating the same sentiment that Chevalier expressed after the game, Walker emphatically said, “Next week after practice, I can assure you everything will be different.”
Senior linebacker Derrese Morganfield II led the Grizzlies with 13 tackles (2.5 tackles for loss and .5 sacks). Meza was a close second recording 7 tackles (.5 sack) and Christopher Alcantar ended the night with 6.5 tackles.
Golden Valley next plays Antelope Valley on the road on Aug. 24 at 7:00 p.m.