EC Preps

FOOTHILLERS SECOND HALF PUSH LEADS TO VICTORY

Photo by Don Demars Photography

EAST COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

By Adam Paul

El Cajon – In a weird set of events as it was Friday the 13th the game early on seemed like it was going to be a low scoring affair as there was no score after one quarter of play.

The Norsemen had the first opportunity to do some damage as Connor Buckley was able to return a kickoff to his own 43 yard line. However Bryan Madriz and company unfortunately despite moving the ball only stalled and Zach Pernicano came out for a 32-yard field goal try which sailed right and was no good.

So as both teams offense stalled the clock ran down and that was the end of the first period of play.

JAMIE ODOM SCORES / Photo by Don Demars Photography

The Foothillers finally were able to take advantage of short field position as Jamie Odom who was able to move the ball down the field kept it himself and scampered in for the 8-yard score to make it 7-0.

JESAI BENNETT catches a touchdown / Photo By Don Demars Photography

Valhalla now trailing was able to get back into the contest thanks to a Grossmont pass interference penalty which put the ball at 9-yard line in the red zone. The next play Madriz found Jesai Bennett for the perfect pass in the end zone but the extra point was blocked. So the score was 7-6.

Grossmont again went on the offensive and with some runs by Odom and then a pass to Thomas Magnum who ran all the way down to the 9-yard line in Valhalla territory the foothillers were in business. On the very next play, Shevelle Sterling found his way for the score on a 9-yard run to make it 14-6 which would be the score at the half.

Only leading by 8 points, Grossmont received the second half kickoff and were able to move the ball down the field as Sterling ran his way through the defense which set up the 49-yard long pass from Odom to Thomas for the score to make it 21-6.

It didn’t look good for Valhalla as they were now down by 15 points. However thanks to a kick out of bounds the Norsemen again received the kickoff which this time they ran it back all the way down to the Grossmont 39-yard line. A couple plays later Madriz found Cole Howard for nice 11-yard catch and score but the PAT was blocked. Now the score was 21-12.

Valhalla again went on defense where they were able to force the Foothillers to punt. On the snap, Josh Mcnish-Heider was able to wrangle his way through the line and get his paws up and block the punt attempt in which Howard scooped it up and ran it in for a 10-yard score to make it 21-20.

With all the momentum now having swung the Norsemen’s way it looked like a night for an upset but not so fast the Foothillers said.

Odom and company went back to business and on passes to Josh Moala the ball was now at their 31-yard line. A couple plays later Odom handed off to Sterling who found a hole and zigged and zagged his way to house for a 62 yard score to make it 27-20.

Still even with the score the Norsemen were only down a score. Unfortunately their offense couldn’t grab the momentum back and had to punt the ball, but a bad snap occurred and Grossmont recovered in Valhalla territory.

With the bad snap the Foothillers smelled blood and took advantage as Odom ran the ball down to the 11-yard line and a couple plays later Odom found his for the score on a 1-yarder to make it 34-20.

Always resilient, Valhalla was able to return the kickoff for a long one to their 42-yard line. The offense was able to move the ball down the field to the 32-yard line of Grossmont before Andrew Lira picked off the Madriz pass attempt and returned it 17 yards.

It only took Grossmont two plays to score off the turnover and really put the contest away as Thomas Magnum took the handoff and ran it down to the 14 yard line of Valhalla. The second play, Sterling scampered into the end zone for 14 yards to make it 40-20 with about 10 seconds left in the third quarter.

SCORE Grossmont 54, Valhalla 26

RECORDS: Grossmont (5-2, 2-0), Valhalla (2-5, 0-2)

KEY STATS: Shevelle Sterling Jr had 4 TDs for Grossmont

PIVOTAL PLAY: Grossmont only leading 21-20 and lost the momentum but gained it back on a 62 yard score by Sterling Jr in the third quarter.

QUOTABLE I: “League games are tough because everyone knows each other and there are no gimmies.” Grossmont Head Coach Tom Karlo

QUOTABLE II: “We knew Valhalla would be a tough opponent and in the second half we had to make the plays and big time players make the plays necessary.” Grossmont RB Shevelle Sterling

QUOTABLE III: “We made sure we played out game which was play harder and faster and I was able to make the big play and find my way down the field on the punt return.” Grossmont WR Andrew Lira

NOTES: Grossmont Sophomore quarterback Jamie Odom threw for 166 yards on 11 of 23 and a score. Shevelle Sterling Jr. rushed for 164 yards on 22 carries and 4 TDs. Grossmont offensively as a team racked up 443 yards.

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