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North Football plays Valley View

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John W. North High School’s football team played against Valley View High School at its last home game on Oct. 27. North’s Huskies lost the game with a score of 26-33.

This final game in North’s stadium was the senior night game.  It honored all of the football players and pep squad girls who are graduating this June. Each player was escorted down the field and recognized for their participation in the football program.

Right at the start of the first quarter North’s Huskies moved their way up the field. Looking to waste no time junior Nicolas Satcher made a clean and direct pass to senior Bruce Mephors. A short pass to senior Tyzjon Calhoun-Fuller only 14 seconds into the game quickly resulted in a touchdown.

The Huskies took the lead of 7-0. During the kick-off, junior Kodie Valdez took down Valley View’s senior Robert Heiermann at the 42-yard line. However the Eagles’ offensive team served as a challenge to the Huskies’ defense as North was pushed further down the field.

On the second down following the kickoff Valley View’s Eagles were short of a touchdown by merely seven yards. During this play the Eagles revealed a new offensive strategy to throw off their opponents, which proved very effective later on. All the players on the Valley View team stood behind their quarterback and once the ball was snapped they ran to their positions. The Huskies were taken aback by the new strategy the first time but adapted accordingly.

“We [have] a really strong defense and some nice receivers. Well everybody is pretty strong but we just make a lot of mistakes. That is something we need to fix,” said sophomore Ezra Ralph.

Jerrell Calhoun carried the ball for 29 yards but was taken down by Valley View’s senior defensive back Donzell Alexander. That gave the Huskies a first down and 10 yards at the 32-yard line. The Eagles’ defense received a holding penalty, making it an automatic first down for the Huskies at the 15-yard line. Since they could not make a touchdown, the Huskies decided to try for a field goal at the 18-yard line. They succeeded making the score 10-7.

The second quarter was initiated with the Huskies’ possession of the ball. Calhoun-Fuller ran with the ball and was tackled by Valley View’s sophomore Blake Sorensen at the 47-yard line. Calhoun-Fuller used this play to get ahead in points and ran the ball all the way into the end-zone.

The Huskies were then up 16-7. Keeling went straight through the Husky defense and ran down the field. At the 33-yard line, Keeling was taken down by junior Derek Bruton. A pass interference penalty was given to the Huskies allowing the Eagles an automatic first down at the 15-yard line. This resulted in another touchdown for the Eagles.

The scoreboard was at a stand-still throughout the third quarter. However, the fourth quarter completely changed the course of the game.

“I think we could have won. It felt like it was a bunch of little [mistakes] that stopped us from winning but overall I think we played really good,” said senior Michael Carter.

The Husky defense began to falter. The North offense could not keep the ball in their possession, allowing the Eagles to score multiple touchdowns in the final quarter. The Husky offense kept fighting. Hawkins scored a touchdown for the Huskies within the last three minutes of the game. Valley View turned it back around and scored a touchdown changing the score to 26-33.

“Our strengths are that we go hard, we play hard and we finish hard. We just have to do it for four quarters, that’s our weakness. We have to come out next week, firing on all cylinders,” said Mephors.

In previous years the Huskies have won several times against the Eagles and North strives to relive that victory next year. Moving forward the Huskies plan to dominate in the last league game of the season against Rancho Verde High School.

North’s football team will be playing a conference game against Rancho Verde High School on Nov. 3, which will be the deciding factor in whether or not the Huskies move on to the preliminary round for the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF).

 

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North Football plays Valley View