Foothill football readies for league season

Reiger Burgin (34) of West Ranch takes the ball to the 1-yard-line after a handoff from quarterback Walker Eget (2) against Nordoff at Valencia High School. West Ranch is one of several Foothill League teams looking to start league play in October with momentum on its side. Dan Watson | The Signal
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The preleague season is coming to a close for Santa Clarita Valley football teams, and several teams are entering Foothill League play with momentum on their side.

West Ranch won its first four games of the season, a streak that included the program’s first-ever win over Antelope Valley, which came by a score of 42-22.

Junior quarterback Walker Eget has commanded the offense, throwing 66-of-97 for 1,083 yards and 12 touchdowns with five interceptions.

Senior Reiger Burgin is the team’s leading rusher with 511 yards and nine touchdowns on 75 carries.

After a 44-21 win over Royal on Sept. 13, the Wildcats were hopeful they would finish out the preleague season undefeated.

“Hopefully,” Burgin said. “That’s the plan. That’s what we’re going to do.”

Golden Valley won its first three preleague games, beating Burbank, Quartz Hill and Rio Mesa. The Grizzlies are attempting to bounce back from their 2018 season in which they went 2-8 overall and won just one league game.

Although they’re on the right track, Golden Valley coach Dan Kelley is heightening his expectations for his team.

“We need to close the gaps with the mistakes we’re making. We need to close that gap and try to play a perfect football game, we haven’t played a perfect game yet this year,” Kelley said after beating Rio Mesa on Sept. 13. “We played a great second half tonight, but we need to play four quarters all the way through.”

Johnathan Kaelin has been the Grizzlies’ main playmaker this season. He’s the team’s leading rusher with 326 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries and has five tackles on defense as a valuable member of the secondary.

Valencia football won its first two games of the season before falling to Sierra Canyon 28-10 on Sept. 13. The Vikings’ run game has been a major asset this season, with Jake Santos and Nick Pham combining for 252 yards and five touchdowns.

Santos, especially, is capable out of the backfield with 46 yards and two touchdowns on two receptions.

Hart won its first preleague game on Sept. 13 against Burbank, 31-13. Zach Johnson, the Indians’ quarterback, is 36-for-68 with 388 yards and two touchdowns throughout a tough preleague schedule that also included Carlsbad and Muir.

Saugus football won its first two games, lost to Redondo Union, then bounced back the following week, beating Thousand Oaks 50-10. Cole Gallagher has been a contributor as a two-way player, with 10 receptions for 228 yards and four touchdowns on offense and 22 tackles on defense.

Quarterback Colton FitzGerald is 58-of-101 so far this season with 796 yards, 10 touchdowns and two interceptions.

Canyon picked up its first win of the season on Sept. 13 with a 28-15 win over Palmdale. Quarterback Aydyn Litz was 14-of-24 for four touchdowns and 215 yards in the game.

Reno Sifuentes was the leading receiver in the game with two touchdowns and 99 yards on six catches.

The Foothill League football season opens up on Oct. 4.

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