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Grizzlies sweep up Hoover at home

Golden Valley wins with record-breaking performances

Posted: September 12, 2008 11:41 p.m.
Updated: November 15, 2008 5:00 a.m.

In last week's loss to Littlerock, Golden Valley's offense was inoffensive.

Friday night, it took out its frustrations on Hoover High (0-1), in a 48-6 victory, setting a school record for points in a game in the process.

Rushing and defensive stops were keys to victory as the Grizzlies (1-1) ran for 228 yards, including 106 from Richard Sarabia off 10 carries.

Of Golden Valley's six touchdowns, four came on the ground courtesy of four players - Sarabia from 47 yards to start the second quarter, Joseph Figueroa on a 4-yard bolt up the middle, John Schlegel from 3 yards and quarterback James Hughes on a 27-yard sprint.

Hughes, a 6-foot, 170-pound junior, exploded in the third quarter, throwing for two touchdowns to senior wide receiver Bino Horne. Horne capped off his night with the first-ever kickoff return for a touchdown in Golden Valley's history.

The key to the ground game was simple, according to Horne.

"Blocking," Horne said. "Last week we didn't block. This week we did, and we made touchdowns."

The third quarter saw the Grizzlies put up 34 points, punctuated by Horne's record-setting return.

The Grizzlies could have put even more points on the board but had four touchdowns called by penalties, nullifying three trips to the end zone by Schlegel.

Both Schlegel and Sarabia credited greater emotion and a higher intensity in practice this week as the difference in Golden Valley's play.

"We were emotionally ready," Schlegel said. "We had our minds right before the game, and we were ready."

This was clear on the defensive side of the ball as well.

The Grizzlies' defense limited Hoover quarterback Stephen Choi to 15-of-39 passing night for 191 yards and a touchdown.

Golden Valley's defense also recovered two fumbles, recorded two sacks, had a safety on Hoover's first possession and stopped the Tornadoes at the end of the first half to keep a 14-to-0 lead in tact. Figueroa recorded the lone Grizzly interception.

Chris Jose and Chris Smith also made big defensive plays. Both recovered a fumble, and Smith recorded a first-quarter sack that helped to set a hard-hitting tone.

Friday night's game was the second strong performance for Golden Valley's defense, according to head coach Steve Pinkston, so the key was to get the offense going.

"We needed to get in a rhythm on offense," Pinkston said. "We didn't do that until the second half. We really settled in, and Jimmy (Hughes) gained a lot of confidence. Hopefully that will carry over into next week."

Next week the Grizzlies travel to Santa Paula and will try to keep the momentum going.

"This game put us on a really great track for next week," Figueroa said. "Everyone is pumped and is going to be looking forward to the next game instead of being bummed out about the last (game)."

Players and fans alike seemed to understand the importance of this game and reveled in the kind of night the program hopes to build upon.

"This (game) gives us hope," Horne said. "We had our heads down from our first game, but this really boosts our confidence. We can actually do some damage in this league."


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