Golden Valley outlasts Canyon to capture first Foothill League win

Golden Valley senior Jonathan Kaelin stiff arms Shawn Gallagher in a league matchup at Harry Welch Stadium Friday night. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Down 35-27 with under six minutes to go in the game, Canyon football took over after Golden Valley missed a 33-yard field goal at Canyon High School on Friday.

Starting at the 20-yard line, the Cowboys (2-7 overall, 0-4 in Foothill League) led by quarterback Aydyn Litz drove down the field to try and complete the comeback against Golden Valley.

Litz found Henry Vera down the sideline for a 51-yard pass. A couple plays later on second down, Litz carried the ball for a 15-yard pickup to keep the drive alive.

After numerous penalties were called against Golden Valley (2-7, 1-3) the Cowboy lined up at the 3-yard line with Litz punching it in for the touchdown to bring Canyon within two points of tying the game at 35.

“The thing I’m actually impressed with is that we haven’t won, but he continues to keep fighting,” Gutierrez said. “That’s half the battle so to see him continue to fight is really nice.”

With Canyon opting to go for two, the Grizzlies snuffed out the play and met Litz in the backfield to stop the two-point conversion.

Down two points, Canyon lined up for the onside kick. The ball took some little bounces before launching high in the air and into a Golden Valley player’s hands, but couldn’t secure the ball allowing Canyon to recover the ball.

The Cowboys took over at Golden Valley’s 42-yard line. Litz found Shawn Gallagher over the middle for a 21-yard pickup to bring the Cowboys.

The Cowboys would spike the ball to stop the clock on the next play and after an incomplete pass and a sack, the Cowboys would line up on the 25-yard line for the game-winning field goal.

Lining up for the 38-yard field goal attempt, Ryan Guluzza looked confident measuring the distance, but came up just short of the field goal as time expired dropping the game 35-33.

“I thought they did dynamite,” said Canyon coach Rich Gutierrez. “We are down 12 injuries and to see the kids that came in and actually stepped I thought they did a dynamite job. I loved it.”

The Grizzlies jumped out to a 35-14 lead at halftime thanks to Johnathan Kaelin’s three scores doing it both on the ground and through the air.

Running back Christopher Alcantar came up big for the Grizzlies scoring on a 79-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Alcantar finished the game with over 200 yards from scrimmage.

“Hats off to Canyon for fighting until the very end,” said Golden Valley head coach Dan Kelley. “I thought our kids fought hard. They played with emotion and pride all the way to the end and we needed every bit of it.”

Both schools finish their regular season schedules next week. The Grizzlies will host Hart at Canyon High School, while Canyon will travel to COC to take on Saugus. Both games kick off at 7 p.m.

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