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Prep football: The goal is to reverse the trend

Golden Valley is back in action after last week’s bye

Posted: September 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.

The good news for Golden Valley football is the solution is simple.

Even better news, the Grizzlies have had an extra week to work on that solution.

Quite simply, they need to quit shooting themselves in the foot with mistakes.

Golden Valley (0-2) will have the chance to reverse the trend when it hits the road to face Channel Islands of Oxnard tonight at 7 p.m. at Channel Islands High School.

Grizzlies head coach Robert Fisher hopes the much-needed bye week will pay off.

“They’re pretty simple mistakes that I think we can fix and we’ve been working on a lot,” Fisher said. “I’m not concerned about mistakes. I’m concerned if we keep making them.”

Whether it was offside penalties, turnovers or late substitutions, Golden Valley found plenty of ways to make life difficult against Simi Valley and Royal in weeks one and two.

In contrast, the Raiders (3-0) have gotten off to an impressive start after coming off a 2-8 finish a year ago, including a 33-3 loss to Golden Valley.

A sizeable class of returning seniors has Channel Islands moving in a different direction thanks to a running game that has produced 222.7 yards per game so far.

Richard Gray is the team’s main threat on the ground, already tallying 510 yards on 59 carries.

It’s fair to say this year’s matchup presents a different scenario.

“Honestly I’m not looking at last year,” Fisher said. “It’s a new year, we’ve got a new team.”

A lot of that may depend on the play of the Grizzlies’ young offensive line, which is still trying to get its bearings.

Though running back Earl Johnson has 20 carries for 194 yards in two games, Fisher feels there is room for improvement.
“We want to try to see if we can get the run game going,” Fisher said. “We want to focus on the run game a little more. We want to get Earl going.”

A tough Raiders defensive front may stand in the way.

Channel Islands has sacked opponents seven times already this year, with defensive linemen Hosea Faagogo and Vincent Serrano both leading the team with two apiece.

It should be a perfect challenge for a Grizzlies offense determined to help the team get into the win column this season.

“That’s my challenge for the guys is, ‘Let’s go run the football,’” Fisher said.


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