Final day decides Foothill League football fates

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One Friday night remains in the 2019 Foothill League football season with a potential three-way tie for first place a realistic outcome as Valencia and West Ranch, Golden Valley and Hart and Saugus and Canyon duke it out on Friday.

The Vikings (6-3 overall, 4-0 Foothill League) enter their final home league contest against West Ranch on a very familiar undefeated four-game Foothill League win streak, but unlike the past few years, had a scare three weeks ago in a 29-27 road win against Hart. The Vikings had a similar result in a 21-17 win over Hart in 2015.

West Ranch began the year with an 8-0 start, picking up wins against Golden Valley, Canyon and Saugus, but suffered its first setback of the season last week when they lost to Hart 28-21 at home.

It sets up a precarious matchup between the Foothill League’s first-place team, Valencia, and the team tied for second place, West Ranch.

Running back Reiger Burgin had a rough outing against the Indians as he earned just 19 yards on four catches while Jackson Reyes lead the Wildcats (8-1, 3-1) with 36 yards on six rush attempts.

Even with the lackluster outing, Burgin ranks third in the Foothill League with 861 rushing yards and is third with 15 total touchdowns (14 on the ground), according to

Quarterback Walker Eget and the Wildcats air attack got off to a slow start, but finished with 298 yards, three scores and two interceptions on 23-of-44 pass attempts. He will look to extend his league-leading touchdowns (30) and passing yards (2,376).

Valencia went down early against Saugus, but came away with a second straight 30-plus point win, defeating the Cents 37-6. 

Vikings quarterback Ryan Morrison threw for over 300 yards in a game this season and his fourth multi-touchdown game with three passing touchdowns in the win. Jake Santos controlled the Valencia rushing game with 10 carries for 64 yards and two scores.

The Foothill League’s No. 1 ranked offense in terms of points, West Ranch (162 points), will face off against the league’s stingiest defense, Valencia, allowing 40 points over four contests.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Valencia High School.

Golden Valley at Hart

After earning their seventh victory of the season in a 42-28 defeat of Canyon, Golden Valley can finish no lower than fourth place in the league standings and can finish as high as tied for second place.

In order for the Grizzlies (7-2, 2-2) to finish inside the top three in the final league standings, two things have to happen: They have to establish a running game for themselves and shut down the Indians’ running game.

In its two league wins this season, Golden Valley has allowed under 100 yards of rushing to Canyon (98 yards) and Saugus (95) and amassed over 280 yards rushing in both games. In losses to West Ranch and Valencia, the Grizzlies managed just 35 rush yards combined while allowing 100-yard rushing games to both offenses.

Skill player Johnathan Kaelin leads the Grizzlies’ charge, sitting atop the rushing yards list with 1,156 and 16 rushing touchdowns, averaging 128 yards per game.

Hart (6-3, 3-1) has it’s own capable running back in senior Taden Littleford, the league’s second-leading rusher (1,044) and the only other player averaging over 100 yards rushing per game (116). 

The Indians are nestled into the No. 2 spot in the league coming off the seven-point win over West Ranch that saw four different Hart players score. 

Two-way player wide receiver and defensive back Ashton Thomas leads the Foothill League with 803 receiving yards on 54 receptions and is tied for the league lead with nine touchdowns receptions. He also has two interceptions and 23 tackles on the season.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at College of the Canyons today.

Saugus at Canyon

Both Saugus and Canyon are coming off of losses and are looking to win their first league game of the season. 

Saugus (3-6, 0-4) was downed by first-place Valencia 37-6 at College of the Canyons last Saturday. 

Quarterback Colton FitzGerald has completed 139-of-271 passes for 1,840 yards and 15 touchdowns. Against Valencia last week, he completed 16-of-36 passes for 186 yards and no touchdowns.

Julian Bornn handled the majority of the ground support against the Vikings as he had 10 carries for 34 yards. Cade Gallagher caught four receptions for 54 yards and Robert Vega had three receptions for 42 yards. 

Canyon (2-7, 0-4) fell to Golden Valley 42-28 last week and hope to win their first game since the Sept. 27 win over Royal. 

Canyon quarterback Aydyn Litz has accumulated 1,722 yards and has thrown 14 touchdowns this season. Against Golden Valley, he completed 11-of-27 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns. Litz also had seven carries for 50 yards.

Reno Sifuentes caught five of Litz’s 11 completions for 114 yards and both touchdowns against the Grizzlies last Saturday. Colin Figueroa and Dylan Roof each caught two receptions for 46 and 43 yards, respectively. 

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Canyon High School.

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