Golden Valley completes comeback; beats Garfield, 29-19 

Golden Valley wide receiver Ajani Smith (4) makes the catch for the first touchdown for Golden Valley in the first quarter against Newbury Park at Canyon High on Friday, 081722. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Grizzlies football (3-1) fought their way back after being down in the fourth quarter to the hosting Garfield Bulldogs (2-2) on a rainy Friday. 

Golden Valley scored 15 unanswered points to retake the lead and seal the deal on their second-best start in school history. 

Quarterback Chris Melkonian looked solid under center yet again for the Grizzlies in a three-touchdown night for the senior. 

Wide receiver Ajani Smith reeled in one of Melkonian’s touchdown passes as well as running back another kickoff return for six. 

Donteo James-Williams sealed the game with a clutch interception and return into the red zone to set up the final TD. 

“These kids just play well together. They do what they had to do to win,” said Golden Valley head coach Dan Kelley. “I told them that last week and they did it again.” 

Linebacker Malachi Beachum was everywhere for Golden Valley. The senior finished with a ton of tackles, a few tackles for loss and a forced fumble. The team forced several turnovers and is yet to lose a game when the head coach is present. 

“Defense wins ball games, offense scores points and our defense hung in there tonight until the offense got going,” said Kelley. “That’s the key to a good football team.” 

Golden Valley is heating up just in time for league play. Their first opponent will be a visiting Castaic, playing in its first Foothill League game. 

The Grizzlies won’t take anyone for granted and will look to make it four in a row against the Coyotes. Golden Valley hosts Castaic Friday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m. 

“We have to have momentum,” said Kelley. “The Foothill League, it’s playoffs every week. You gotta bring your A-game.” 

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