Both the Scotts Valley and San Lorenzo Valley high school football teams opened the preseason with wins — SLV in dominating fashion and Scotts Valley with a gutsy second half surge against a strong opponent.
SLV will play at home this weekend, while Scotts Valley travels to Texas for its annual out-of-state contest.
Falcons off to Texas
Scotts Valley’s varsity team left for San Angelo, Texas, on Wednesday, Sept. 5, to take on Central High School in an out-of-state matchup.
The Falcons take on the Bobcats at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, in its third trip to Texas in the past five years.
This year, Scotts Valley faces a team that graduated 32 seniors from last season’s team and fell 41-40 this past weekend to open the season.
“We’re excited,” said Scotts Valley head coach Louie Walters. “It’s just another challenge for the Falcons.”
The Falcons head into the game a confident team after dispatching Evergreen Valley High School, 31-21, on Saturday, Sept. 1, in Scotts Valley.
Scotts Valley had a strong first half.
After giving up a 35-yard first-quarter touchdown run to Evergreen’s Nicholas Inneh — who finished with three touchdowns on the day — the Falcons answered with 24 consecutive points.
In the first quarter, Falcons kicker Jack Lavery nailed a 23-yard field goal. In the second, quarterback Garrett Johnston made a 1-yard touchdown plung,e and running back Ari Wargon broke free for a 48-yard scamper up the right side to give the Falcons a 17-6 lead.
Wargon led the way for the Falcons with 25 carries for 196 yards and a touchdown.
Later, with Evergreen driving, Johnston — playing free safety — intercepted a pass from quarterback Nico Juarez in the end zone and returned it 74 yards.
On the following play, Johnston handed the ball to back-up quarterback Jake Lobo, who threw a perfect strike to Johnston all alone at the 5-yard line. Johnston walked in for the touchdown, making the score 24-6 going into halftime.
“That’s a play we’ve been working on,” Johnston said. “The coaches hadn’t done that play with the quarterbacks since (Blake) Jurich (in 2009). Jake Lobo stood in there and made a great throw.”
Inneh used his blazing speed to score twice in the third quarter to cut the lead to 24-21, but the Falcons iced the game with six minutes, seven seconds on the clock when Wargon took a sweep handoff but pulled up to pass. He hit fullback Jake Rehnberg in stride for a 24-yard touchdown pass to make the score 31-21.
Bradley McClaron recovered a fumble to end any Evergreen hopes.
Cougars roll, prepare for home game
Coming off a 30-13 win over Everett Alvarez High School, San Lorenzo Valley High prepares for a home game against Edison High School of Stockton at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8.
Against Alvarez, the Cougars scored first when junior running back Kjell Johnson raced 11 yards for a touchdown.
SLV fumbled on its next possession at its own 9-yard line, and Alvarez’s Timothy Alvarez caught a 5-yard touchdown pass to even the score.
But from there, the Cougars were clearly in charge of the game.
Quarterback Isaac Newberry connected with Lucas Sinnott for an 80-yard touchdown pass, and Derek Poetzinger scored on a 7-yard run to make the halftime tally 20-7.
In the third, kicker Ben Knudson drilled a 24-yard field goal. Shortly after, Knudson snatched a 3-yard scoring strike from Newberry that completed SLVs scoring.
Alvarez scored on a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, but SLV’s outburst stood up.
Poetzinger led the Cougars on the ground with 15 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown, while Newberry finished 8-for-12 for 206 yards passing, with two touchdowns and an interception.
SLV finished with 496 yards of total offense.