Golden Valley beats Burbank in first game of season

Golden Valley senior Johnathan Kaelin chest bumps junior Carlos Meza after scoring in the third quarter of a non-league matchup with Burbank at Harry Welch Stadium Friday night. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Darnell Musgrove might have summed up Golden Valley’s win over Burbank in the simplest, best way possible.

“We back,” he said.

The Grizzlies pushed last year’s losing season a little farther into their subconscious on Friday night, beating Burbank 43-28 at Canyon High School.

Golden Valley scored early on a 13-yard run from Chris Alcantar, then Johnathan Kaelin punched in the 2-point conversion after to give the Grizzlies an 8-0 lead with 8:36 to go in the first quarter. A 22-yard rush from Kaelin set up the scoring play.

Kaelin continued to receive handoffs throughout the game and scored a touchdown for himself in the second quarter. With 9:02 remaining in the second quarter, Kaelin broke free and went in an 8-yard score.

Burbank was able to get on the board on the ensuing drive as Aram Araradian threw a screen to Isaac Glover for a 32-yard touchdown.

Golden Valley quarterback Jaxson Miner connected with Mikhile Newton with 6:57 to go until halftime for a 23-yard touchdown to give Golden Valley a 21-7 advantage.

Miner and Austin Garcia split time at quarterback against the Bulldogs, but according to coach Dan Kelley, neither has the lead in the battle.

“Both quarterbacks did well,” he said. “They both made mistakes in their own respect. I thought Luke (McCoy) did a great job in the power set, too. He can pass the ball too, so I think that both quarterbacks did well. It’s even and they’ll do the same thing next week.”

Musgrove had a fumble recovery just before halftime, which further energized Golden Valley’s defense before the break.

“I went one way and then I shed it the other way and then our linebacker came and hit him,” Musgrove said. “I saw the ball and I just went for it.”

Kaelin wasted no time resuming the scoring on the other side of halftime, cruising 35 yards across the field for his second touchdown of the night less than a minute into the third quarter.

Burbank struck back with 9:46 to go with an 8-yard touchdown run from Isaac Glover, but Alcantar went in for his second score of the night two minutes later on a 9-yard scamper to keep the Grizzlies in the lead 36-14.

The Bulldogs were the first to score in the fourth quarter, then executed a 2-point conversion after to cut the deficit to 36-22.

Immediately after, however, Kaelin went on a 54-yard tear that ended in a touchdown.

“He’s the biggest kid on the football field,” Kelley said of Kaelin. “He’s a tough kid, he’s hard to bring down, he’s fast. He’s everything you want in a running back, wide receiver, strong safety and that’s why he plays multiple positions for us.”

The Grizzlies had keyed in on Glover to slowly suffocate Burbank’s ground game and force the Bulldogs to pass. Araradian threw to Ben Burnham for one last touchdown, then Golden Valley blocked the kick after.

“He’s a quick dude,” said Musgrove. “But I mean, our D-line did good on the run so we just contained them, stopped them and forced them to pass the ball.”

Golden Valley will look to continue its success as it plays at Quartz Hill next Friday at 7 p.m.

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