East County Sports

Sultans post shutout in Norse’s GVL debut

Santana's Landen Bailey chases down Valhalla's Azariah Gales on Friday. / Don De Mars




EastCountySports.com staff report


SANTEE – The Valhalla Norsemen have competed in the Grossmont Conference’s higher-classified division since the two leagues were readjusted to a power-rating scale to divide the once demographically separated circuits in 2010.

Although the move to the Grossmont Valley League was made this past spring season for Valhalla, this season is the first championship season for the Norsemen in the re-aligned format.

The Grossmont Conference did not officially award football league championships during the 2020 spring season.

The move should make the Norsemen a very competitive club in league competition moving forward but maybe just not right now against the Grossmont Valley League’s top three title contenders.

The undefeated Santana Sultans dismissed visiting Valhalla in a relatively convincing fashion, 27-0, to improve to 5-0, on Friday night in preparation for its first major championship-deciding contest of the season in two weeks.

It was the Grossmont Valley League opener for both teams. For Valhalla, it was the team’s first game competition for an official Valley League title.

Back in 2010, the start in the Hills League seemed somewhat appropriate. Valhalla head coach Steve Sutton turned around a one-win team from 2007 into the school’s first and only varsity football champion ever in 2009.

The Sultans, meanwhile, are looking for their first official league championship since 1999 when it claimed the Grossmont North title. That league featured north-located conference schools El Capitan, Grossmont, West Hills, Granite Hills and El Cajon Valley.

The team did claim a mythical tri-championship this past spring, along with El Cap and Monte Vista.

Santana will face the Vaqueros in two weeks following its home game with Mount Miguel this Friday.

In the win over the Norsemen, junior quarterback Nick Leger rushed for a pair of first-half touchdowns in the first half as the Sultans led Valhalla, 13-0 at halftime.

Leger had a 30-yard run after he escape the grasp of a Valhalla pass rusher. He added a short sprint for a score with 10:41 left in the second quarter for the two-score lead.

The Sultans kicked a field goal in the second quarter, a 26-yarder by junior Jackson Scott, and led 16-0 at halftime.

Leger threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Wright in the third quarter. Wright also ran in a two-point conversion for the 24-point lead. He had three catches for 90 yards.

Santana senior Dylan Anderson recorded his fourth interception of the season. He returned the ball 51 yards, setting up Santana’s second score.

The Sultans rushed for just 76 yards against the Norsemen, who outgained Santana, 210-166 in total offense.

Santana senior Logan Jorden led the defense with seven solo tackles and four assists.

Sophomore Isaiah Lloyd had four tackles and a pair of assists of the Sultans.

Santana also forced and recovered a fumble.

Valhalla (1-4, 0-1 GVL) rushed for 135 yards behind back Laurance Zakaria, a junior, and Dustin Avant,  a sophomore.

Norseman senior quarterback Tommy Logan found receivers A.J. Cornthwaite and sophomore Julian Jerjees for notable gains through the air.

Undefeated West Hills travels to face the Norse next Friday.


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