Canyon aiming to end preleague on a high note

For its 2018 homecoming game, Canyon football hosts Royal High School of Simi Valley in their final preleague game of the season tonight at Canyon High School at 7 p.m.

The Cowboys (1-3) are coming off a 38-25 loss to Simi Valley, which is part of the Canyon League along with Royal. They showed a lot of fight and moxy against a 4-1 Pioneers team that is averaging 44.2 points and 232 rushing yards per game.

Junior quarterback Aydyn Litz will try to to rebound from last week’s loss and continue to build chemistry with his receiving corps. With Jake Acquaviva out after an apparent heel injury against Simi Valley, Canyon head coach Rich Gutierrez will continue to employ a running-back-by-committee with Ryan Valdes, Darrin Warren and even Carson Strickland lining up in the backfield.

“Aydyn is progressing, putting balls in there and making plays,” Gutierrez said. “He kind of mixes it up with his wide receivers for the most part.”

Royal (1-4) comes into tonight’s game after picking up its first win of the season, a 35-16 victory against Thousand Oaks, the same Thousand Oaks that Saugus dominated 42-6 just two weeks ago.

“Coming off the Thousand Oaks win I bet they are feeling pretty good,” Gutierrez said. “They competed against some very competitive teams. So it’s hard to gauge exactly how a team will perform because some teams fill their preleague schedules so the team can get exposure and others do it to so they can find out their weaknesses.”

Through five games this season the Highlanders have scored a total of 66 points while giving up 143 points in the four losses and 35 of their points came in last week’s win against Thousand Oaks.

Both teams will be vying for that elusive second win of the season with Valencia looming in the background for Canyon. The two open up league play September 28.

“Just to finish strong,” Gutierrez said. “We are not even thinking about league. Our sole focus is the task at hand, beating Royal.”

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