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Prep football: As close as it comes

Grizzlies lead by 11 with three minutes left, lose 24-20

Posted: September 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Golden Valley linebacker Juan Cervantes tries to pull down Royal running back Brooks Bannon on Friday night at Canyon High School. Royal won 24-20.

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Golden Valley football coaches and a players will remember every nanosecond of the final three minutes of their 24-20 loss to Royal High of Simi Valley on Friday night at Canyon High School.

With 3:07 left in the game, the Grizzlies were riding high with a 20-9 lead following a 68-yard touchdown run by all-around quarterback Chase Lewis.

Less than two minutes later, Royal quarterback Anthony Couch connected with Kyle Jaeger for a 16-yard touchdown to complete a furious comeback.

“We made mistakes and we didn’t finish the game,” said Golden Valley head coach Robert Fisher. “It was that simple. It wasn’t a case of our team being deflated, it was just a case of playing a little tight once things got hectic.”

And things got hectic in a hurry.

Right after Lewis’ touchdown, Royal’s Derick Okpaise took back the ensuing kickoff return 97 yards for a score to make it 20-17 following a successful two-point conversion.

Following a Golden Valley three-and-out, Royal (1-0) got the ball back and Couch went back to work.

The senior completed four straight passes to Jaeger for a total of 50 yards, including the winning score with 1:13 left.

Although Couch’s drive capped a very efficient passing game, the Grizzlies (0-1) kept Royal’s offense at bay for most of the game, including a third quarter during which the Highlanders didn’t cross the 50-yard line.

Offensively, Golden Valley pounded the ball down the field most of the day, including a 42-yard scoring scamper by Lewis to put the Grizzlies in front 13-9 early in the third quarter.

That erased a 9-6 halftime deficit.

Lewis totaled 164 yards on 13 rushes in the game and also completed 5-of-7 passing attempts for 55 yards.

“We had fist-game jitters out there and we got excited,” Lewis said. “This team just needs to be more disciplined.”
Golden Valley kicker Michael Richardson made two field goals in the first half from 46 and 34 yards out.

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