SJ High School Football took a moral victory at home from Temecula Valley, 6-2
■ Corey Evan / Sports Reporter
New year, new team, new hope: That’s what San Jacinto High School’s varsity football boys are breathing and sweating as they take to the gridiron with new, younger teammates. Their hope was put to the test last Friday as the Temecula Valley Golden Bears were on the prowl.
The Tigers had a healthy fan turnout, including a visitor from Canada seeing their first American football game. As the first quarter got underway, Temecula picked up the first two points out of a fumble in their end zone. The Bears almost had a touchdown halfway through the quarter, if only they hadn’t fouled against Tiger Joey Barragan. Instead, with just a minute still in it, Kajiya Hollawayne took one for the team.
The scoreboard held steady for the second quarter, as the Tigers kept pushing back against the Bears who inched close to the goal. And even when the Tigers had a last-30-seconds chance at a TD, the Bears nabbed it.
The Tiger cheerleaders and SJHS Concert Band, as led by Andrew Vaughn, kept the crowd entertained during halftime. In addition, the crew from 99.1 KGGI showed up to drop a few beats and give out free swag! And of course, the SJHS ASB were selling T-shirts so fans can support their home team.
Third quarter saw no more scoring action than the second. But in trying to score, Christian Arroyo went down on the field, but he walked it off.
The Bears started to gain some momentum toward their goal zone in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t quite get there as a result of yardage penalties and Tiger takeovers. Both sides saw a couple of injuries for the first game of the 2017 season. Somehow, through it all, the Bears ended up using four timeouts in the second half; but not even that could move the score.
While it was a very low-scoring game, the 6-2 win was a moral victory for the Tigers.
Coach Aric Galliano says that because it’s still early, he expects his team to improve.
“Defensively, we came out and played! That’s one thing we thought we could do if they buy into the new scheme of what we’re doing,” said Galliano. “They battled their butts off and we’ll take (the win) any way we can get it.”
The Tigers have their next chance to take a win at Tiger Stadium tomorrow against the Temescal Canyon Titans. Tiger fans, don’t miss it!
Elsewhere in Football:
– The Hemet Bulldogs rode the Banning Broncos at home 42-14. The Dawgs will be making their mark on Cathedral City tomorrow at 7, so let them hope they leave the blue Lions seeing red.
-The West Valley Mustangs took a Knightly slaying at Shadow Hills 46-7. Lake Elsinore Lakeside High will be making a splash at WVHS tomorrow. Bring your galoshes.
-The Tahquitz Titans got a face full of Eagle feathers at Rialto’s Eisenhower High, 27-20 the final score. The Ravens from Vista Del Lago will land at the Titan Stadium tomorrow, and their match will be next week’s featured game.