By Justin Vigil-Zuniga
Signal Sports Writer
The Grizzlies had one of their best-ever starts to a football game in their non-league win over Antelope Valley on Friday.
Wide receiver Ajani Smith ran back the opening kickoff for six. The team then blocked a punt, leading to a scoop and score from senior Antonio Brown. The team found themselves up 14-0 in less than a few minutes.
The Grizzlies gradually kept pounding the ball into the end zone in their head coach’s return to the field. Head coach Dan Kelley missed his first-ever game of football last week due to COVID-19 and led his team to victory in his return.
Running back Julian Rios ran the ball well again for the Grizzlies. The back is one of the team’s most elusive runners. Rios finished the game with two touchdowns.
Quarterback Chris Melkonian threw for a pair of touchdowns as well as running one in for a score.
The Grizzly defense didn’t let up all night and nearly blanked the Antelopes. Donteo James-Williams also hauled in an interception for the Grizzlies.
“We had a really good week of practice,” said Kelley. “We knew Antelope Valley had a lot of speed. We contained them and did a great job on defense.”
Antelope Valley managed to get on the board in garbage time and score their first points of the season.
Special teams really stood out for Golden Valley. On top of the team’s kickoff return and punt block score, they also blocked an Antelope field goal.
The Grizzlies are back on track and will look to keep building in their upcoming week of practice. The team returns home next Friday to host Quartz Hill, which is coming off a huge loss at Valencia.
“I want to keep building on what we’re doing,” said Kelley. “We’ll still work on our mistakes and work on things we’re doing right. It’s what the season’s about, It’s an uphill battle. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is; You have to get better.”