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Wildcats win battle of the beasts

West Ranch tough on both sides of the ball, wins league opener

Posted: October 17, 2008 11:23 p.m.
Updated: December 19, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Golden Valley wide receiver Jon Schlegel rushes through the West Ranch defense Friday.

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West Ranch came into Friday's game on a four-game losing streak, while Golden Valley was coming off of a bye week after it won in its first game on its campus in school history.

A league victory was up for grabs at Paul A. Priesz Stadium on the campus of Valencia High.

West Ranch was too strong for the Grizzlies, however, rolling over their foes en route to a 28-0 victory.

A pair of 9-yard touchdown passes from quarterback Jake Bernards to receiver Troy Wise put the game away in the second half. The Wildcat defense rose to the occasion time and time again.

West Ranch earned its first shutout this season and is tied atop the league standings with Valencia and Saugus at 1-0.

A 21-yard burst by Yofkovich set the tone on the first play of the game. Bernards followed that big play with his first big pass, a 26-yard strike to Frankie Madero for a touchdown to wrap up a four-play drive.
Bernards hit Wise with 6:59 left in the third quarter to give his team a three touchdown advantage.

The Grizzlies (0-1, 3-3) had golden opportunities to avoid its second shutout this season, as they were inside the Wildcats' 30-yard line four times but went 0-for-5 on fourth down conversions.

The biggest missed chance, however, came with 2:26 left in the first quarter. With the Wildcats leading, 7-0, linebacker Joseph Figueroa picked off a pass by Bernards which bounced off fullback Spencer Ortega's shoulder pad. Figueroa returned the ball to the West Ranch 29.

But Golden Valley's offense, which was outgained 363 yards to 235, could not capitalize on Figueroa's interception to tie the game, as a pass by Grizzlies quarterback Jimmy Hughes to receiver Bino Horne on third-and-12 went for just two yards. Two delay-of-game penalties in a row by GVHS led to a punt, and the Wildcats scored on their next series.

Bernards found tailback Trent Yofkovich (who gained 72 yards in place of injured starter Ross Bacon) on a play action pass for 42 yards to the Golden Valley 3 on second-and-26. Yofkovich scored two plays later on a 1-yard run for a 14-0 lead.

Bernards went 12-for-19 with 195 yards and three touchdowns. Bacon was nursing a shoulder injury, but should be back for Friday's game at Valencia against Saugus.

Golden Valley completed the longest play of the game with 6:31 left in the game, but could not cash in on the drive. Backup quarterback Justin Oden lined up as a receiver. He took a pitch from running back Jon Schlegel, who took the snap as a quarterback.

Oden gunned a 44-yard bomb to a wide-open Horne, who was tackled at the West Ranch 28. Dylan Olson caught a pass, but fumbled the ball near the 20. Branden Pistone scooped the pigskin up to put the shutout in the books with 5:42 to go.

Schlegel gained 86 yards on 11 carries, while Figueroa rushed 13 times for 51 yards.

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