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Cowboys can breathe a little easier

Canyon shuts out Grizzlies 31-0 to earn its first win of the season

Posted: November 6, 2009 11:40 p.m.
Updated: November 7, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Something had to give as Canyon and Golden Valley football squared off in a matchup of two teams looking for their first win of the season.

Whatever was holding the Cowboys back entering the contest promptly fell by the wayside.

Thanks to effective ball movement and a stifling defense, Canyon moved into the win column with a 31-0 win over Golden Valley on Friday at Harry Welch Stadium.

"It's good for the kids," said Cowboys head coach Chris Varner. "Finally, things go our way. The turnover ratio was in our favor for the first time all season. We were able to do some good things defensively, and offensively, we got some young guys a lot of playing time."

Two of those young guys for Canyon (1-8, 1-3) were sophomore quarterback Jonathan Jerozal and junior running back Trent Hernandez, who carried the ball 24 times for 95 yards and a touchdown.

Jerozal finished 9-of-15 for 129 yards and two touchdowns, including a 12-yard screen pass to running back Josh Telles to open up a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

After Cowboys junior running back Vinny Rodriguez punched in a 4-yard score and an interception of Grizzlies quarterback Reid Soliman by safety Tyger Rodriguez, Jerozal threw a 33-yard touchdown to junior wide receiver T.J. Yonkers for a 21-0 advantage.

On the score, Jerozal dropped back and lofted the ball to the front pylon.

Yonkers leapt over the Golden Valley defender and brought the pass in with his fingertips.

"T.J.'s been waiting all season," Jerozal said. "I told him I'd get him one tonight for sure. I took a shot on that one, but it was worth it getting the seven points and getting it to T.J."

Canyon's defensive front kept the pressure on Soliman all night, and didn't allow a Golden Valley first down until 2:07 left in the second quarter.

Following a 26-yard field goal by Mohammad Roknipour, the Cowboys took a 24-0 lead into halftime.

The Grizzlies (0-9, 0-4) never backed down, but two interceptions, a fumble and an inability to convert on fourth down proved too difficult to overcome.

"Our run game isn't doing too bad, but we've got to work on our offensive line a little bit," said Golden Valley head coach Andy Campbell. "Defensively, we did OK. We just gave them a short field to work with on every drive. And when we didn't give them a short field, they didn't score. For us, we've got to focus on those little positives. We just came out flat. Not pleased by our performance tonight at all."

Hernandez added a 7-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to bring the score to 31-0.

"I just wanted to keep the play clock running," Hernandez said. "I figured I'd get a lot of carries."

From then on, the Cowboys held off the Grizzlies' rushing onslaught led by sophomore running back Jeff Coprich and junior running back Junior Brown.

Coprich carried the ball 18 times for 86 yards and caught two passes for 13 yards, while Brown rushed 10 times for 16 yards.

Soliman was 8-of-19 for 72 yards and two picks, including one by Cowboy Drew Davis late in the third quarter, which eventually led to Hernandez's score.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez finished with 65 yards rushing for the Cowboys, Hernandez added two receptions 37 yards and Yonkers caught two passes for 37 yards.

Donovan Brownlee led the Canyon charge at the line of scrimmage with six tackles and two sacks.

"That was big for us to get our first win against a pretty good team, Golden Valley," Brownlee said. "They came out fired up. We came together as a team and got the win."


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