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Golden Valley football: Grizzlies get momentum

Johnson rushes for four touchdowns, 189 yards

Posted: October 8, 2010 11:53 p.m.
Updated: October 9, 2010 4:55 a.m.

SAN MARINO — Golden Valley’s postgame speech from head coach Andy Campbell ended with one word on Friday night at San Marino High School: “Hart.”

As in Hart High School, the team Golden Valley plays in next week’s Foothill League opener.

This came after Golden Valley downed San Marino 35-21 to close out nonleague play with a 3-2 record.

“I was thinking, ‘Hart, Hart, Hart’ the whole time,” said Grizzlies tailback Earl Johnson. “I’m getting ready for (league). That really motivated me.”

Johnson represented most of the Grizzlies’ offense on Friday, totaling 189 yards on 17 carries and four touchdowns. He also added four receptions for 38 yards.

“He’s about 80 percent right now, and I’ll take 80 percent if that’s what we’re getting,” Campbell said of his potential. “We’re finding ways, creating ways to get him the ball.”

Between power running, end-arounds and screen passes, Johnson gave the San Marino defense trouble all night.

At first, it looked like San Marino running back Ryan Wood was going to be the same story for Golden Valley’s defense.

On San Marino’s opening drive of the game, Wood carried the ball nine times on a 10-play, 58-yard drive that ended with his 8-yard touchdown run. The Titans led 7-0 late in the first quarter.

Wood finished with 112 yards on 24 carries.

“Initially, we came out and played really hard up front,” said San Marino head coach Mike Mooney. “Their guys really started to hunker down and play hard after that.”

After Golden Valley responded with Johnson’s 7-yard score on a fourth-and-2 play at the 9:38 mark of the second quarter, the defense settled down.

“We just work together really well,” said Grizzlies defensive back Jose Lopez, who had five tackles and an interception in the game. “We just have to make sure we know where each other’s at.”

The Titans scored again on pass plays of 35 yards in the second quarter and 54 yards in the third. Both passes were from quarterback Kody Gerrick to wide receiver Manny Vargas.

After Johnson found the end zone again on a 76-yard run, the score was tied at 14-14 going into the half.

When San Marino (2-3) scored on its opening drive of the second half, Golden Valley responded by going to the air. Quarterback Reid Soliman connected with Isa Bey for a 15-yard touchdown to tie it again at 21-21.

Soliman went 10-for-20 for 161 yards and an interception in addition to the score.

From then on, it was all Johnson, who scored again from 5 yards out in the third quarter and 1 yard out in the fourth.

“We could be undefeated,” Campbell said, explaining that the team has hurt itself with penalties and mistakes. “We’ve decided the outcome of all five of these games.”


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