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Prep football: Golden Valley's biggest test yet

G.V. coach calls it ‘preseason championship’

Posted: September 30, 2010 10:46 p.m.
Updated: October 1, 2010 4:55 a.m.

The Golden Valley defense swarms Royal’s Kyle Gauthier (22) on Sept. 9 at Canyon High.

 

Every week is just another chance for Golden Valley to prove itself.

That doesn't mean it's going to be easy.

The Grizzlies hit the road for a 7 p.m. matchup today against Serrano of Phelan, a team that won the Mojave River League and finished runner-up in the CIF-Southern Section Eastern Division playoffs last year.

"They're a very physical team, a very well-coached team," said Golden Valley head coach Andy Campbell. "They're going to be a great test for us. They are definitely our preseason championship."

Golden Valley (2-1) beat Simi Valley 31-19 on Sept. 3 and Channel Islands of Oxnard 33-3 last Friday, but Campbell said he considers the Diamondbacks his team's toughest challenge yet.

The Grizzlies, who had five takeaways against Channel Islands, could have their hands full with Serrano quarterback Joey Peterson.

Peterson was a 2009 Mojave River All-League first teamer in 2009.

The Diamondbacks (3-1) return four out of five offensive linemen from last year, but the graduation of key wide receivers has hurt the team's passing efficiency this season.

"We were expecting a little bit more out of Joey so far," said Serrano head coach Ray Maholchic. "His decision-making hasn't been what we expected for an all-league player, but we just haven't really developed the receivers to help him."

The Diamondbacks will also be missing top running back Taylor Ruize due to a hip injury sustained last week.

For the Grizzlies, the main objective will be creating turnovers and limiting mistakes.

Despite the 30-point win last week, Golden Valley committed 14 penalties for 125 yards.

"Last week, we brought our ‘B' game to the party and fortunately, we were able to get away with it," Campbell said.

Not even 293 rushing yards last week was enough to completely satisfy Campbell's offensive goals.

All five of Golden Valley's scores against Channel Islands came from running backs Jeff Coprich and Earl Johnson, but they'll contend with a pair of talented senior linebackers in Andrew Reagan and Ethan Hillyer. They are also the Diamondbacks' two leading tacklers this season.

"We told our kids to run faster this week," Maholchic joked. "But I don't know, (Coprich and Johnson) look pretty tough."

The Grizzlies are excited for the challenge and want to show they can play kickoff to whistle, Campbell said.

"We come at you for four quarters," he said. "If we could come at you for five quarters, we would."

 

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