APPLE VALLEY Kyle Godfrey’s first football coaching debut at Apple Valley High School went so well Saturday morning that his team scored touchdowns and the staff didn’t know.
Okay, so it was just one mysterious touchdown at the end of a 47-7 milestone in the Mojave River League win over Serrano in both teams’ season opener.
Junior running back Kaleb Most ran for three touchdowns and 144 yards on 17 carries while the Sun Devils broke open a 7-7 draw with a 22-point, second quarter burst. Junior quarterback Jayden Denegal ran for touchdowns from 11 and 3 yards in the quarter. He also competed in 12 of the 24 passes for 141 meters, eventually hitting a long pass, to Cody Sebulsky, in the diminishing seconds.
Assuming the Sun Devils were on the 1-yard line, they ran to what they thought was a short touchdown, but found that it was actually a two-point conversion.
“We didn’t see his hands go up,” Godfrey, an occasional assistant at Apple Valley since 2009, told officials. “Obviously, we weren’t supposed to go for two there – we thought we still had to put it in and end the game.
“But yes, it went pretty well.”
Apple Valley took control of the game based on a defense that forced six Serrano turnovers. These included fumbles in the second quarter by sophomore linebacker Dustin Reynolds and senior defensive back Ethan Peratt, and interceptions in the third quarter by junior defensive back Logan Moon and sophomore Isaiah Ojeda.
Serrano, a returning semi-finalist for the CIF-Southern Section and last year’s champion, was held at 100 yards.
“Every time you flip the ball six times against a good opponent like Apple Valley, and every time you give them a leg and flip the ball, it becomes difficult to stay in matches,” said Serrano coach Casey Maholchic said.
Apple Valley was second in the Mojave River last year, based on a 17-7 defeat to Serrano in these teams’ final meeting on October 11, 2019. The Sun Devils lost in the first round of the Division 6 playoffs in a 28-21 thriller to San Jacinto.
On Saturday they clearly looked like they had taken the next step, with a successful running game led by Most and Denegal (52 yards on seven carriers).
And even on a Saturday morning in March, football was welcome again.
“It was nice to be back and finally be able to play again,” said Most. “The O line did a great job, and there was a great block in the front so we could run and do what we do.”
HIGHLIGHTS OF OTHER GAMES
Rancho Verde 41, North 0: Andr McKinney Jr. delivered the highlights of the season on Thursday-evening, finishing with seven catches for 233 yards and four touchdowns as the Mustangs went to a non-competitive victory. Sophomore Landon DeBruyn completed 14 of 18 passes for 293 yards and those four touchdowns to McKinney in his first varsity start. Rancho Verde’s Elijah Ugorji finished with 103 meters on 18 wearers.
Norco 51, Santiago 6: Kyle Crum completed 17 for 21 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns in the first half when the Cougars opened the season with a Big VIII League victory on Thursday night. Elijah Rodriguez caught two of those touchdowns from Crum, and Jacob Rosendahl added 25 and 5-yard touchdown runs for the Cougars.
Ayala 38, Temescal Canyon 14: Freshman Bryan Wilson was 11 of 13 passing for 166 yards and three touchdowns as the Bulldogs won a nonleague game Thursday night. Ayala’s Marcus Monroe caught a few touchdown passes and also intercepted a pass. Andre Aguilar answered an interception for a touchdown, and returned a fumble for another touchdown for the Bulldogs.
Roosevelt 47, Crown 6: Jaz Fong and Jaquez Neal each scored two touchdowns as the Mustangs rolled to victory in the Big VIII League on Thursday night. Fong rushed to 145 yards and a touchdown on nine carries and added a 48-yard touchdown catch. Neal caught a touchdown pass and ran to another. Julian Viramontes had a few touchdown passes for Roosevelt.
Chaffey 30, West Covina 13: Raymond Rodriguez rushed for 207 yards and four touchdowns on 21 carries as the Tigers won a San Antonio League game Friday night. Chaffey finished with 320 meters to the ground.
Hillcrest 53, La Sierra 6: Manny Robert rushed for 114 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries to lead the Trojans to a victory in the River Valley League on Friday night. Hillcrest’s Camren Payne threw a few touchdowns to Shane Shel, and Payne added 66 yards and a touchdown to the ground.
Elsinore 46, Lakeside 6: Donovan Harvey rushed for more than 200 yards and scored five touchdowns when the Tigers won an Inland Valley League game on Saturday night. Harvey scored four times on the ground and also had a touchdown reception. Elijah Yoshinaga and Jordan Tamayo also scored touchdowns for Elsinore.
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