CHICO – For the Foothill High football team, Chico’s opponents have been the only problem this season. The Cougars entered Friday’s Pleasant Valley match 6-2 – both losses came at Chico High.
PV added third on Friday as Vikings (6-3, 4-0 Eastern Athletic League) defeated Cougars 48-28 on senior night at Asgard Yard.
Football team PV entered Friday’s match against Foothill after winning 27-14 in the Almond Bowl last week against Chico High. For many players, winning the Almond Bowl was a favorite memory of their high school football career – a moment announced at the High School Evening Celebration at the start of this week’s game.
Some players on the sidelines said that while playing Almond Bowl was fun against their friends, beating Foothill this week and winning the Eastern Athletic League championship would mean even more.
One of the PVs’ captains, Gabe Ponce, said his team went out on Friday motivated, hoping to win the EAL title in front of their hosts.
The Vikings scored three and a half minutes of the first quarter in just the second game of the game. After a Foothill trespass penalty to start the game, senior Jaiteri Akfalle ran 10 yards with the ball before senior defender Jan Guangzon threw a 65-yard pass to Bryson Snelling.
After each team’s blows, the PV defenses regained groping for the Foothills, and the Viking attack took over on the 12-yard line of the Foothills. After runs by Anthony Seiler and Matthew Kinoshita, senior Brendan Nash ran 1-yard past and brought the PV to a 14-0 lead.
Nash was unable to play in the shortened 2020 season due to injury. He said the goal feeling was probably in his last PV game.
“Every game, every game means a lot more after injury, especially on an adult night,” Nash said.
Foothill then cut the PV gap in half when PV midfielder Gabe Ponce tried to grab Foothill quarterback Davis Smith, but his teammate fought off Smith. Smith freed himself up and ran 80 yards on the ball, reducing the PV lead to 14-7.
PV closed the first quarter with an 18-yard pass from Guanzon to senior receiver Noah Thomas. Following a PV penalty, Guanzon kicked off a 29-yard touchdown to Luke Alloway early in the second quarter, extending the PV lead to 21-7.
– Justin Couchot (@JCouchot_Sports) October 30, 2021
Parker Williams then received an interception to defend the PV, which turned into a 24-yard field goal by Lane Garner. PV scored twice in the last minute, once with 27 seconds left and another four seconds left. Kinoshita scored from one yard, and then senior PV Anthony Tallerico dived for groping and recovered him one yard line in the Foothills. Guanzon jogged past one yard to get PV 38-7 ahead at half-time.
PV coach Mark Cooley said his team knew they had to go out and make a statement early in the first quarter, and PV did just that.
“We knew we had the edge, but we wanted to show more,” Nash said of the mentality at half-time. “What really drove us forward was our big guys in front – our line of attack. Their push is what really helped us win this game. “
In the second half, after a 26-yard shot from Guanzon to Tallerico and a 10-yard run from Bryson McFall with 5:44 to the end of the third quarter, McFall scored a fast-paced three-yard touchdown.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Foothill narrowed the lead to 45-21, but the Vikings continued to score. Alloway caught a 48-yard pass from Guanzon that set the PV field goal.
Cooley praised his team’s growth this year, from offense to physical activity and from defensive attacks to kicking. He said that since the second half of Shasta’s game on October 14, the defense has stepped up their play, and Cooley praised the kicks in PV this week, when his coach disappeared from the sideline.
“The kicking was good,” Cooley said. “You know, these children work hard every single day. You just need to get rid of the bad and stay with the good, mentally resilient children. They did a great job. ”
The final score of the game was sourced from Foothill, with just under five minutes remaining.
Pleasant Valley is now preparing for their last regular season game next week at 7:30 pm at Red Bluff.
Pleasant Valley 48, Foothills 28
Next: Pleasant Valley at Red Bluff, Friday at 7:30 pm