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Prep football: Can GV go 2-0?

Grizzlies look to build off win in season opener

Posted: September 9, 2010 10:52 p.m.
Updated: September 10, 2010 4:55 a.m.

A week ago, the Golden Valley football team was celebrating its first regular season victory since October 2008.

Two days later, the Grizzlies were right back to business in preparation for today's 7 p.m. matchup against Royal of Simi Valley at Harry Welch Stadium.

"All our hard work really paid off," said Golden Valley head coach Andy Campbell of his team's 31-19 win in last week's season opener.

The Grizzlies' coaching staff didn't allow players to spend too much time celebrating because of multiple missed scoring opportunities and costly turnovers in the game.

"I don't think any one of (the players) thought we were going to come into practice this week and let the little mistakes we made go," Campbell said.

On defense, Golden Valley (1-0) will have to prepare for a Royal team returning a quarterback and two running backs with significant varsity experience. Senior quarterback Zach Collins went 52-for-96 for 595 yards and two touchdowns in just three varsity games last season. He looks to be the full-time starter this year with Kyle Gauthier and Thomas Garner splitting carries in the backfield.

The game will serve as the season-opener for the Highlanders (0-0), and head coach Kevin Flye said his team is excited to finally take the field.

"We're fairly healthy, and we're ready to go," he said. "It should be a good test for us."

Outside of the backs, the team is relatively young across the board, with five juniors starting for the offensive line and several defensive players with little or no varsity experience.

"It took them a second to get used to the speed of the game, but they were good to go as we went along," Flye said of his team's scrimmage against Rio Mesa of Oxnard last week.

Senior defensive linemen Mason Huether and Ethan Lavoie lead the way for what Flye calls a "solid front seven" on defense for Royal, but they'll have to contain Golden Valley's tandem of junior running backs, Jeff Coprich and Earl Johnson.

The two combined for 211 yards on the ground against Simi Valley, but Campbell said neither one of them was fully satisfied with their efforts.

"It's really scary when those kids actually play their best game," Campbell said.

The ground game was complemented nicely by junior quarterback Reid Soliman and his 299 yards and two touchdowns through the air.

"We're confident we can move that ball any time we want," Campbell said.

For the Highlanders, who beat the Grizzlies 36-0 in last year's season opener, they expect to see a faster, and much improved Golden Valley team in 2010.

"We like their speed, and I think if we can just contain their speed, we can handle them," Flye said.

Last week, Golden Valley snapped a year-and-a-half long losing streak. This week, it will have a chance to start something new - a winning streak.



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