East County Sports

Norsemen scoop up playoff berth

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

VALHALLA 35, MONTE VISTA 12

EastCountySports.com staff report

SPRING VALLEY —- Positive results on the rebuilding of the Valhalla Norsemen saw good returns during the second half of the season.

Featuring a runback of 87 yards by Alejandro Rosales on a fumble recovery for a touchdown, the Norsemen defense registered a second-half shutout, pulling away late to down host Monte Vista, 35-21, in Friday’s (Oct. 29) Grossmont Valley League regular-season finale at Monarchs Stadium.

The victory likely clinched a much-desired playoff berth in the Division IV postseason for the Norsemen.

The ballgame changed late in the third quarter when Monte Vista, trailing 21-19 at the break, elected to go for it on fourth down rather than attempting a go-ahead, 39-yard field goal.

Valhalla immediately answered by the momentum swing on the very next snap. Quarterback Tommy Logan hoisted a 78-yard bomb to A.J. Cornthwaite on one of the final plays of the quarter for a 28-19 advantage.

Logan passed for three touchdowns in the contest.

Monte Vista then went three-and-out but got a break when Valhalla muffed the punt, but recovered the loose ball for a two-point safety rather than yielding a touchdown.

Luckily, the miscue was quickly forgotten — but barely.

The Monarchs attempted a potential game-tying, length-of-the-field drive, bolstered on a 22-yard run by Jayden Richardson, moving to the Valhalla 28.

Two plays later, the Monarchs crept to the 10 in an attempt to avoid the school’s first winless season this century, but the Norsemen registered perhaps their biggest play of the season.

Valhalla forced a fumble on a fourth-and-2, which Rosales scooped and rumbled all the way for the long touchdown with under five minutes on the clock.

Monte Vista registered seven sacks and also recorded an interception.

“This was definitely our best effort of the season,” Richardson said succinctly. “Still, we weren’t a disciplined team even though we were playing one of our best games. We wanted to win and we fought harder than any of the other nine games this season. We definitely played our hearts out. I wish I could’ve helped my team more but I was proud to be a more vocal leader this season.”

Aiden Robey had another big bight on the ground for the Monarchs.

“(Robey) had to have 200 yards-plus,” Richardson said. “He was averaging six and seven yards a carry.

“Craig Cooper really played his tail off, Alex Sauceda played fantastically, and Kevion Jones led us in sacks.”

Valhalla (3-7 overall, 2-4 GVL) gained the No. 10 seed in the CIF-SDS Division IV playoffs, meeting No. 6 Sweetwater at Gail Devers Stadium next Friday (Nov. 5).

After being shut out in four of their first six games this season, the Norsemen averaged 24 points per game in their last four contests, including a 41-25 win over El Cajon Valley.

Monte Vista (0-10, 0-6 GVL) previously posted 0-8 marks in 1962 and 1964, going a composite 3-37 in the school’s first five years of varsity competition (1961-65).

This was the Monarchs’ first losing season since 2015.

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