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Golden Valley tarnished in loss

Littlerock crushes inoffensive Grizzlies on both sides of ball, 28-8

Posted: September 4, 2008 11:19 p.m.
Updated: November 6, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Littlerock High School's Jeremy Evans, left, comes down with his third touchdown reception in the third quarter, as Golden Valley defensive back Derek Googe fights to knock the ball away.

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Four big plays were all it took for Littlerock High School to spoil Golden Valley's season opener.

Golden Valley converted only four first downs and punted eight times as it kicked off the local prep football season on the wrong foot Thursday night with a 28-8 loss to the Lobos at Harry Welch Stadium on the campus of Canyon High School.

It was the club's seventh straight loss dating back to the 2007 campaign.

Despite the setback, Grizzlies head coach Steve Pinkston was upbeat in his post-game assessment.

"Our defense played great," Pinkston said. "Our offense, we have things to work out."

The most crucial big play occurred on Littlerock's first series of the second half. Lobos wide receiver Jeremy Evans won a jump a ball in the end zone for a 14-0 lead. Evans went airborne to snag an 18-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Sean Duffy.

Evans scored his first touchdown on a 23-yard streak route with 4:42 left in the first half. He beat cornerback Dylan Olson on the play to give Littlerock a 7-0 halftime lead.

Evans caught five passes for a career-high 131 yards and three touchdowns.

"I just went right past him," Evans said. "(My touchdowns) were great. I had good blocks on those plays. The whole thing was fun."

Evans' third TD reception effectively put the game away. With 2:55 left in the third quarter, he caught a pass on a comeback route near the Golden Valley 40 near the Lobos' sideline, took advantage of a few well-timed blocks and outran everyone for a 49-yard score.

Evans also kicked all four extra points.

The fourth game-turning play was a 90-yard run by running back Dervon Francis down the Littlerock sideline to the Grizzly 6. Francis punched it in two plays later a 28-0 lead.

Golden Valley scored its only touchdown after Richard Sarabia recovered a fumble on a blown flea-flicker.

Sarabia scooped up the loose pigskin and was on his way to a touchdown before he was tripped up.

With 6:22 left in the game, Sarabia's teammate Joseph Figueroa then scored on a 1-yard line plunge, and tacked on a two-point conversion with another run. Sarabia recovered another fumble on the ensuing kickoff after two Lobos ran into each other while trying to field the ball. But the Grizzlies could not punch another one in for a score, going four-and-out on the drive.

"I think we played well at the end," Sarabia said. "We were nervous. It was our first game. I should've had a touchdown."

Figueroa was one of the team's leading tacklers in the game, recording a stop on fourth-and-1 in the first half. Senior safety Jon Schlegel also had a solid defensive game.

Jimmy Hughes made a solid debut as the starting quarterback, with a 9-for-15, 80-yard performance in the first half.

However, after Hughes started the second half ineffectively, going 1-for-6, Justin Oden made his debut. Oden was on the field for the scoring drive, and his 6-yard run set up Figueroa's touchdown. He went 0-for-5, with three of those coming on drops.

The Grizzlies had no turnovers.

"We have several plays when we're right on the verge of breaking free," Pinkston said. "It's a lot of little things, missing a block here, getting a penalty there. We'll get there."

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