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Grizzlies are shut out in the opener

Golden Valley football team can’t get much going in Simi Valley

Posted: September 11, 2009 11:58 p.m.
Updated: September 12, 2009 4:55 a.m.
SIMI VALLEY — Golden Valley debuted the 2009 season with a 36-0 loss against Royal High in Simi Valley.

After an opening drive that saw the Grizzlies (0-1) notch a first down on a third-down scramble by Jimmy Hughes in his own territory, the Grizzly faithful had little else to cheer about in a game dominated by Royal.

Royal running back Kyle Gauthier busted through the Golden valley defensive line for 25 yards on the Highlanders’ first offensive play from scrimmage.

The Grizzlies forced a punt on the drive, but after a three-and-out sequence, Golden Valley botched a snap, turning the ball over on their own 12-yard line.

After a roughing the passer penalty gave Royal (1-0) a first-and-goal, quarterback Zach Collins punched in a 1-yard keeper and the Highlanders made it an 8-0 lead on a two-point conversion with 3:08 to play in the first quarter.

“This is the first time hitting anyone but ourselves,” said Golden Valley first-year head coach Andy Campbell. “We had to get used to the speed of the game. I think that was our biggest problem in the first half.”

Royal struck again with 11:12 to play in the second quarter when wide receiver Connor Wolcott made an acrobatic catch in the back of the end zone on a 14-yard pass from Collins.

The Royal defense got into the act next when lineman James MacDonald forced a fumble in the Grizzlies’ end zone and fellow lineman Trevor Rapp fell on the loose ball to make it 22-0 with 3:33 to go in the first half.

The Highlanders scored again with 26 seconds to play on a 2-yard run from Gauthier to take a 29-0 lead into the break.

After Gauthier scored again on a 14-yard run with 4:36 to play in the game, the Grizzlies scored their biggest highlight of the night when Corey Chaisson ran the ensuing kickoff back 70 yards to the Royal 21-yard line.

The Grizzlies’ hopes of scoring was stopped by Royal’s Alex Fladez, who forced a fumble on the next play and the Highlanders recovered.

Golden Valley strung together its best possession on the night on its final drive as Andrew Avila led a Wildcat formation into the Royal red zone, but time expired.

Avila led the Grizzlies with 83 yards rushing, while Joseph Figueroa paced the defense with 15 tackles, including six solo takedowns.

“We’re going to grow from this game,” Campbell said. “Obviously this isn’t the result we wanted, but we’ll learn from this and come November no one will remember it.”


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