East County Sports

Norsemen make moon dust of Mariners

By Jim Lindgren
© East County Sports.com
EL CAJON (9-19-15) —  A quarter-moon shone brightly over the hills just to the west of Valhalla High School on Friday night (Sept. 18).

It was, appropriately, distinctly orange.

MarV at VAL Score

Same was the case as Valhalla lit up Mar Vista in a 47-0 win in the Norsemen’s home opener.


Valhalla (2-1) began every one of its first-half possessions in Mar Vista territory and scored five times.


The Norsemen allowed a total of 4 yards, including minus-22 rushing yards for the Mariners (3-1).


“All the pieces fell into place,” Valhalla center JON WASHAM said. “It’s as perfect as we’ve looked all season.”


Said Valhalla coach CHARLES BUSSEY, “When you’re playing from the 40-yard line every series, it is what it is. They might have been a little overmatched. I know they were banged up, and we played a really solid game.”


Josh McNish-Heider gets a sack against Mar Vista.

Josh McNish-Heider gets a sack against Mar Vista. (Don De Mars Photography)

Eight Mar Vista players carried the ball at least once, and six of them finished with negative yards. The Mariners longest rush was 15 yards … in the fourth quarter with a running clock against Valhalla’s second-stringers. Mar Vista QB Michael Wilson was 3-of-5 for 26 yards with an interception by CADE BAKER. Backup Jerry Hara was intercepted on his only attempt by DANNY MADARA.


The Valhalla offense was hardly tested but responded well to the short fields it was given.


PHILLIP NASEH was 6-of-11 passing for 80 yards and two touchdowns. JEROME JOHNSON rushed 11 times for 82 yards and one touchdown. RAHSHAUN SHARPE carried seven times for 80 yards and two scores. NEEVER KRYAKOS had two catches – both touchdowns of 16 and 24 yards.


In the third quarter, backup QB BRANDON FULLER tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass to KEVIN FRANCIS. In the fourth quarter, ANTHONY PORTILLO rushed for a 23-yard score.


“It’s the first time we’ve seen the offense flow like a unit,” linebacker JOSH McNISH-HEIDER said. “It was great to see. We look forward to moving on from here.”


Said Bussey, “I really liked how we ran the ball. Rahshaun Sharpe and Jerome Johnson really ran well tonight.”

Neever Kryakos catches a TD pass against Mar Vista.

Neever Kryakos catches a TD pass against Mar Vista. (Don De Mars Photography)

Valhalla seemingly had this one in the bag in the first five minutes.

Three plays into the game, CADE BAKER intercepted a pass at the 31-yard line. Five plays later, Sharpe scored on a 4-yard scamper.

Two plays later, CHRIS YOHE recovered a fumble at the 20-yard line.


Two plays later, Naseh found Kryakos for a 15-yard TD pass.


The Norsemen punted for the only time on its next possession, but then scored again at 10:26 of the second quarter with Johnson scoring easily from 1 yard out. Oh, that, of course, was set up by a blocked punt by LOGAN BAKER in the end zone.


Two more three-and-out possessions by Mar Vista led to two more touchdowns before halftime. The first was a terrific 31-yard run by Sharpe for a 28-0 lead. The next was a 24-yard scoring strike from Naseh to Kryakos to make it 34-0 with 3:30 before intermission.


Mar Vista started the season 3-0 with wins over San Diego, Clairemont and Las Vegas Durango, but the Mariners sorely missed the services of leading rusher Khalil Spruill, who sat out with a sprained ankle after posting 397 yards and four TDs in the first three games.


“Two turnovers in the first quarter and without Khalil, we weren’t dynamic enough to overcome that,” Mar Vista coach Tyler Arciaga said. “They’re a Division II team playing Helix and Grossmont and all the big boys in the county. This was a litmus test for us, and we didn’t come out too well.”


The game also marked the return of former Valhalla coach STEVE SUTTON, now the offensive coordinator at Mar Vista.

Valhalla had two interceptions – by Cade Baker and Madara. The Norsemen also tallied four sacks – two by Logan Baker and one each by Cade Baker and McNish-Heider. In addition, Logan Baker had a blocked punt, and the defense recovered two fumbles – by Yohe and BRANDON LEFFEW.


Of interest, Valhalla’s two longest drives – 8 plays in the first quarter and 9 plays to start the third quarter – resulted in no points.


The scoring “drives” totaled 19 plays – 5, 2, 2, 2, 4, 3 and 1.


The Norsemen, who lost their opener to Otay Ranch (14-7) before beating Granite Hills (17-10), play at Patrick Henry next Friday (Sept. 25).

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