Coleman scores, recovers a fumble late, Coyotes beat Golden Valley, 28-21
What a night to be a part of the Castaic Coyotes football program.
The Coyotes (4-1) picked up the first Foothill League win in school history, downing the Golden Valley Grizzlies (2-3) at Valencia High School on Friday, 28-21.
It’s quite the feat for a program that had its first varsity campaign just a year ago.
“The program has been through a lot the last few years, and it’s just great,” Castaic head coach Sirr Guy Shakir said. “I’m so proud of our guys for sticking to it. That’s a really, really solid football team we battled against today. I have nothing but the utmost respect for those kids and that program. And we just we made more plays today.
“We have a long way to go. We haven’t won anything. We shouldn’t be anointed. But I think just the respect — we always talk about respect isn’t given, it’s earned. And in order to achieve that, you’ve got to do things the right way. And our kids did that.”
With the game tied at 21-21, the Coyotes had just over four minutes to get the job done. Senior Monty Coleman put the team on his back with a 68-yard run and then punched it in from 2 yards out to put the Coyotes out in front.
Coleman then sealed the victory on the ensuing Golden Valley drive, recovering a fumble when the Grizzlies were in the red zone.
“I know what I can do,” Coleman said. “When I got my chance, I just did what I could and we ended up getting this W.”
Golden Valley senior Isiah Orozco punched in his ninth touchdown of the season with 10:28 to go in the fourth to give the Grizzlies their first lead of the game at 21-14. Orozco finished with 91 yards to give him 792 on the season.
“He’s a playmaker,” Golden Valley head coach Dan Kelley said. “He’s a hard runner. He’s physical. He’s got good vision. He’s everything you want in a running back.
“He was upset after the game and I said, ‘The reason why you’re upset is you’re a competitor, you don’t like to lose. Some guys just pack it in and go home and, you know, go to bed. This one’s gonna bother you because you want to win and you do the things that you’re supposed to do to win.’ So yeah, he’s a tough player for us.”
Castaic senior Tyler Lewis hit fellow senior Lucas Milan on a 36-yard strike for a touchdown on the ensuing drive to make it 21-21.
The Grizzlies found it difficult to move the ball in the early going, not recording a first down until the 9:16-mark of the second quarter. They only picked up four of them throughout the first half, on their lone touchdown drive of the half.
Golden Valley’s offense was better in the second half. The Grizzlies scored on a Brandon Contreras run with 3:07 to go in the third to tie it at 14-14 before Orozco’s score in the fourth.
Castaic senior Paul Lotz recorded 132 rushing yards and a touchdown. Fellow senior Tyler Lewis completed 14 of 25 passes for 178 yards.
“I love those guys to death, man. Those guys are dogs,” Milan said. “Ty Lewis, he’s probably the best quarterback I’ve ever played with, and Paul is a dog.”
Turnovers were a problem for both teams in the first half. Lewis tossed two interceptions, including one in the end zone near the end of the second quarter. Golden Valley fumbled a snap in the first quarter that the Coyotes were able to pick up.
Golden Valley seniors Sean Gomez and Anthony Seragusa each recorded an interception, each their second on the season. Seragusa’s was important as it came in the end zone to close out the first half.
Castaic added an interception in the third quarter from junior Maddux Anderson.
“At times, we really click,” Kelley said. “But in football, like any sport, you got to be consistent. And we’re not consistent right now, on both sides of the ball.”
None of the first-half turnovers resulted in points for the recovering teams.
Kelley was impressed with Castaic and how quickly Shakir has turned the program into one that can compete in the Foothill League. He mentioned multiple Coyotes, including Lotz and Milan, as players to watch for the rest of the season.
The Coyotes lost to this Golden Valley team last season, 41-0.
“Hats off to the coaches,” Kelley said. “They’ve done a good job of preparing those kids. They’ve bought into what they’re teaching them and what they’re doing over there.”
Thursday’s game was the first at Valencia High School since turf reconstruction. The field was meant to be ready by Sept. 1, but Tropical Storm Hilary caused further delays.
Castaic will look to make it two Foothill League victories when the Coyotes take on the Valencia Vikings (3-1, 1-0) back at Valencia High School next Friday. Valencia beat Saugus on Thursday, 48-0.
“We just got to carry this mentality going into Valencia and the rest of league,” Coleman said. “We just got to keep this and hope it carries us on into the next league games.”
Golden Valley will be on the road again, taking on the Hart Indians (3-1, 0-0) at College of the Canyons’ Cougar Stadium. Hart had a bye this week.
“Hart is well-coached,” Kelley said. “Pretty much the same team we saw last year with the same returners, at quarterback, receiver, running back, defensively. They’ve all been together for three or four years … We know what we’re getting ourselves into. And like I told the kids tonight, I said, ‘If we don’t prepare better, you know, and we don’t do the things we’re supposed to do to be successful, we’re gonna be in the same boat we were in tonight.’”
The Coyotes are going home winners on Thursday and will savor this victory at school on Friday before preparing for another battle next week.
“There is no rest for the weary,” Shakir said. “I will appreciate this tomorrow, celebrate it with our school, celebrate with our community. But then after that, we got to get back to work.”