Pirates make Mustangs walk the plank

San Bernardino’s Pacific High defeats West Valley at homecoming game, 20-10

Photos by Corey Evan/The Valley Chronicle
The Mustangs face off against Pacific High’s Pirates on Friday night. The Pirates would sail home with a 20-10 win.

■ By Corey Evan / Sports Reporter

Homecoming is always an exciting time for any school, and it gets students thinking about voting…for homecoming king and queen at least. For this homecoming, San Bernardino sent the Pirates to pillage West Valley’s brand new turf. Thank you, winter floods, for that gift! Here’s what happened:
The West Valley Chamber singers performed the “Star Spangled Banner,” and were a crowd-pleaser at this homecoming game. One might suggest they try out for “America’s Got Talent.”
West Valley won the coin toss, and kicked off this game: Both teams struggled to get used to the Mustangs’ new field, with neither team scoring for most of the first quarter. But despite a strong defense, the Pirates took the first touchdown of the night at the 2:51 mark.
The Mustangs started to find their footing in the second quarter, and pushed back hard against Pacific. They didn’t touch down, but Saul Beltran did manage a field goal to get West Valley on the board.
Halftime saw the presentation of West Valley’s 2017 Homecoming Court. This year’s homecoming theme is “Indiana Jones,” and this reflected in their performance leading up to the presentation. This year’s Homecoming King is Sergio Camacho (who performed as a dancer in the halftime show, not as the “King” being held hostage by natives). Sireen Ramos was crowned his queen. Congratulations to this year’s homecoming court!

Sireen Ramos was elected homecoming queen. Sergio Camacho (not pictured) is her king.

Third quarter started out rather uneventful, but at the 3:31 mark, Natuan Patterson pilfered the lead from Pacific with the Mustangs’ first TD. Beltran kicked in the extra point.
But not to be outdone, the Pirates retook the lead with a TD to start out the final quarter. And then another with 5:15 left on the clock and a two-point conversion…but the conversion was disqualified for illegal procedure. They redid the conversion and got it again the second time. This time, the Pirates were legitimate and had doubled up on West Valley 20-10…and that’s how the game ended.
Despite being 0-4 for the season so far, Coach Matt Willard remains proud of his Mustangs for holding their own: “This was a big building block for us; we’ve been struggling all year to put something together with this team and get these guys to be cohesive. As much as you want to believe in moral victories, that was one of them for us. So that was a big step for us.”
The Mustangs do have a couple of good things going for them: They have a new QB… Michael Riley! “Mike obviously is a great athlete; He’s very relaxed back there, he’s… taken us in a new direction from last year’s ‘wishbone’. We’re starting to piece together a new dynamic.”
And students still took part in post-game traditions on the new turf: “It’s nice. We’d like to get a win on it.”
But that chance will have to wait: The Mustangs don’t have a game this week, and instead will spend this week getting ready to ruffle the Falcon’s feathers at Rubidoux on September 29.

Elsewhere in football:
The Hemet Bulldogs saw a narrow defeat at their homecoming game, with Shadow Hills casting a 35-30 shadow on them. They will head to Fontana to spar with the Jurupa Hills Spartans tomorrow.
The Tahquitz Titans made a trip to Cathedral City to show the Lions what Titan green is made of: The Titans left a 21-14 green mark on the “blue” grass, and tomorrow will try to fend off the Canyon Springs Cougars at… Vista Del Lago High School. Canyon Springs doesn’t have a stadium yet, but Moreno Valley School District does plan to build them one.
The San Jacinto Tigers got rammed by the Murrieta Mesa Rams, 62-21. They head to Riverside tomorrow to remind the Arlington Lions why Tigers are king of this jungle.

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