Golden Valley football got back into the win column on Saturday night, beating Saugus 31-7 at Canyon High School in a game that had been rescheduled from Friday.
It was the first time the Grizzlies beat the Centurions in Golden Valley program history.
“For me, Saugus has beat me for five years straight,” said Grizzlies coach Dan Kelley. “For us to get a victory, it’s a great feeling. They’re a great program, well-coached and to beat a team like that it takes a lot of preparation and a lot of energy. We’re feeling really good about ourselves right now.
Johnathan Kaelin scored the first touchdown of the evening for the Grizzlies (6-1 overall, 1-1 in Foothill League). After Golden Valley intercepted a Saugus pass, Kaelin ran it in for the early lead on his team’s first possession of the night.
It was the only scoring from either team in the first half of the game as the Grizzlies carried the one-touchdown advantage into halftime.
On the other side of the half, Kaelin rushed for another touchdown with 9:20 remaining in the third quarter, but the Grizzlies missed the PAT and settled for a 13-0 lead.
After a Centurions fumble, Kaelin was able to capitalize on the Grizzlies ensuing drive and score his third touchdown of the evening on a run with 7:38 to go in the third quarter. With less than a minute left in the frame, Kaelin rushed for his fourth and final touchdown of the game.
With 6:34 left in the contest, Golden Valley’s Luke McCoy recovered a fumble to begin another scoring drive. Austin Garcia scored on a keeper to make it 31-0 in the Grizzlies’ favor.
“He’s our captain on defense, he makes all the calls, he’s the leader in that interior,” said Kelley of McCoy. “He’s an inside linebacker, he’s very important to our defense, offense, we even put him in slot tonight in a couple plays. He’s very valuable to our team.”
Golden Valley was able to hold Saugus (3-4, 0-2) to just one touchdown, which Josh Bornn scored with 30 seconds left in the game.
Kelley credited solid play across the defense for keeping the Centurions’ points so low.
“On defense, our game plan was to stop their key players,” he said, “but at the same time to stay home and play solid defense rather than coming after them. We sat back and played our type of defense and made plays and the defensive backs the linebackers played really well tonight.”
Golden Valley plays at Valencia next week at 7 p.m. while Saugus hosts West Ranch at College of the Canyons at the same time.