Prep football notebook: Grizzlies on the prowl

Golden Valley senior Johnathan Kaelin has 326 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries, a 16.3 yards per carry average. Cory Rubin/The Signal

After winning just two games last season, the Golden Valley football team has already reached that total this year.

The Grizzlies defeated Burbank 43-28 in last week’s home opener and won their first road game 33-21 over Quartz Hill on Friday.

Golden Valley has been utilizing a two-quarterback system, and both senior Austin Garcia and sophomore Jaxson Miner have flourished. Garcia is 11-of-17 for 103 yards and Miner is 14-of-22 for 185 yards and two touchdowns.

Utility athlete Johnathan Kaelin, who lines up all over the field, is already off to a hot start this season. He has 326 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries, a 16.3 yards per carry average, and also has two catches for 26 yards. He also has five tackles on defense.

The Grizzlies will have their biggest test of the season this Friday, taking on undefeated Division 6 foe Rio Mesa on the road. 

“Rio Mesa, I haven’t watched their film yet but they are traditionally a good football program. The coach does a great job over there so we’re going to have our work cut out for us,” Golden Valley head coach Dan Kelley said after the Quartz Hill game. “The big thing I told the kids to do tonight is to go home and press the reset button like you do on your video game and start over tomorrow.”

Along with Golden Valley, Valencia and West Ranch are the other two Foothill League teams with an undefeated record. The Vikings defeated Silverado 69-19 and the Wildcats were victorious over Antelope Valley 42-22 on Friday.

Saugus suffered its first loss of the season on Friday, falling to Redondo Union 42-21 at home. The Centurions are using the early-season loss as a learning experience to make sure they clean up their mistakes and improve as the year goes along.

“We’re better, we have to get better, we have to practice harder, hit the weight room more,” said senior leader Azariah Beaugard after the loss. “We need to be more focused in practice instead of taking it easy on teams because we saw what happened tonight, and that can’t happen again this season.”

Hart and Canyon, which are both 0-2 to start the season, had a bye week and did not play on Friday.

Rankings released

The CIF-Southern Section released its latest football polls on Monday and two Santa Clarita Valley teams made the list.

West Ranch was ranked No. 9 in Division 7 in the preseason polls and moved up to No. 7 after defeating Nordhoff in the season opener. The Wildcats moved to No. 6 last week after beating Granada Hills Charter and they remain in that spot this week after defeating Antelope Valley.

Trinity Classical Academy had its bye last week, but moved to the No. 2 spot in Division 14 after being ranked No. 4 in the previous poll. Despite not playing, the Knights moved up thanks to Granite Hills and Fairmont Prep both losing.

Santos shines

Valencia captain Jake Santos has had a remarkable start to his 2019 campaign. The multidimensional athlete scored five touchdowns in Valencia’s 69-19 win over Silverado on Friday.

Santos rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown on five carries, including a long run of 53 yards. He caught two passes for 46 yards, both of which went for touchdowns. He also returned a fumble 41 yards for a score and an interception 29 yards for a touchdown. 

In the season opener against Arcadia, Santos rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns on five carries and also had an interception returned for a score.

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