East County Sports

Eagles put Valhalla rivalry on notice

Valhalla tackles a Granite Hills ball carrier on Friday night. / Don De Mars photo




By Gene Yale

Special to EastCountySports.com


EL CAJON – What a difference a week makes.

Seven nights ago, Granite Hills took a trip to Escondido and got walloped by San Pasqual, 52-7, while Valhalla easily handled Scripps Ranch, 33-20.

So, naturally, Valhalla was favored to win the contest Friday evening (September 1), even though the game was being played at Granite.

Valhalla tackles Granite Hills on Friday. / Don De Mars photo

Apparently, the embarrassing loss last week fired up the El Cajon lads, as they steamrolled the boys from Rancho San Diego, 34-18.

After being thoroughly outplayed, Valhalla’s head coach, CHARLES BUSSEY, always the teacher, succinctly summed up what his players should take from this lesson: “Tonight we got bullied. We came out flat and Granite Hills took advantage, they earned it. Now it’s about the lessons learned: how you respond to the adversity.”

Granite Hills started at its own 20-yard line after BRYAN MADRIZ boomed the opening kickoff into the end zone for a touchback.

Senior quarterback JAKE SIEGFRIED got the Eagles moving quickly, methodically maneuvering his offense downfield on a 17 play drive that culminated in a touchdown after the shifty quarterback squirted into the end zone on a 6-yard run.

Following junior kicker JUSTIN McELLIGOT’s PAT, the Eagles led 7-0, with 2:54 left in the first quarter.

The Eagles offense got the ball back quickly, thanks to its rejuvenated defense, forcing Valhalla to punt after three plays.

This time, Siegfried stepped up the pace when he threw a dart to junior wide receiver CHRISTOPHER OSTRENG for a 30-yard gain to the Norsemen 49 yard line, as the first quarter drew to a close.

As the second period started, junior running back GIDEON ALABA galloped for successive runs of 8 and 9 yards, down to the Valhalla 33-yard line.

A 10-yard Siegfried pass to senior tight end WILLIAM BURTON and a fourth down, 20 yard toss to Ostreng put the ball on the Valhalla 1 yard line.

JAKE SIEGFRIED throws a pass Friday night. / Don De Mars photo

Siegfried dove into the end zone on the next play, and when McElligot’s kick sailed over the cross bar, the Eagles led 14-0, with 9:18 left in the first half.

For Valhalla, things went from bad to worse.

A dead ball penalty on the Norsemen allowed the Hosts to kick off from the Valhalla 45-yard line.

A perfectly placed pooch/onside kick was scooped up by an eager Eagle at the visitors’ 30-yard line.

A 9 yard throw and fourth down conversion from Siegfried to senior wide receiver RAY CUERO moved the chains to the Valhalla 17 yard line.

On the next play, Siegfried hooked up again with Burton for a 17 yard TD, giving the Eagles a 21-0 lead with 7:18 left in the second quarter.

Late in the first half, Valhalla’s defense managed to slow down the Eagles, albeit in Norsemen territory.

With 4th and 8 at the Valhalla 40, it appeared that Granite Hills was confident that they could make yet another first down, lining up in their normal offensive positions.  Instead, Siegfried dropped back after taking the snap and punted, but not very far.  It was picked up by Valhalla senior defensive back BOBBY FIELDS, who sprinted 46 yards to the Eagles’ 24-yard line.

A couple of nice runs by senior running back TY SCHIMKE and a 9-yard pass from senior quarterback DENNIS DAHLIN to Madriz moved the ball to the Eagles’ 5 yard line.

Valhalla’s JOSH MCNISH-HEIDER sees a fumble Friday night. / Don De Mars photo

Apropos for the evening, a delay penalty shuttled the pigskin back to the 10-yard line, but on the next play, Schimke scurried to the right side and cruised into the end zone.  A pass from Madriz to senior tight end JOSH McNISH-HEIDER on the PAT made it a 21-8 game at halftime.

The third quarter produced only 3 points, a 30-yard Madriz field goal, and, as the game headed into the final period of play, Granite’s lead had shrunk to 21-11.

The last 15 minutes had more fireworks.

Siegfried scored his third TD of the evening on a 4 yard run at the 10:02 mark of the 4th quarter, upping the lead to 28-11.

On the evening, Siegfried was 10-14-1 for 159 yards, as the Eagles amassed 407 yards of total offense.

Three minutes later, Granite senior running back TYLER GONZALEZ, who had been punishing Valhalla defenders all evening, bulled his way into the end zone for a 1 yard TD.

Valhalla defensive end JACE MANNING blocked the extra point attempt, leaving the Eagles with what appeared to be an unsurmountable lead of 34-11, with 7:03 left in the game.

Valhalla’s BRYAN MADRIZ uses a stiff arm Friday night. / Don De Mars photo

Now at quarterback for the Norsemen, Madriz burst through the middle of the Eagles’ defense, turned on the after-burners, and jetted 70 yards for a quick touchdown and also supplied the extra point, narrowing the gap to 34-18, with 5:31 remaining in the contest.

Valhalla got another opportunity a few minutes later, with a 1st and 10 from its own 25-yard line.

This time, the elusive Madriz broke free on the left side and motored 75 yards for an apparent touchdown, but a tripping penalty away from the play brought the ball back to the Eagles 42-yard line, thwarting the visitors’ momentum.

Frosh score: GH 26, Val 6. JV score: GH 33, Val 0.

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