Titans ruffle the Ravens’ feathers

Tahquitz’ football boys defeated Vista Del Lago on Friday, 47-12

Photo by Corey Evan / The Valley Chronicle
The Titans face-off against the Vista Del Lago Ravens on Friday.

■ Corey Evan / Sports Reporter

The Vista Del Lago Ravens landed at Titan Canyon for Tahquitz High School’s first home game of 2017 last Friday, and added a nice purple pop to a very green field. But while Titan supporters flooded the home stands, those Raven supporters present could fit comfortably in a Ford Transit.
Tahquitz received the kickoff at the top of the game and quickly got the ball to the goal. Tyree Chaisson was the one who touched down, followed by Tommy Ibarra with the extra point. But even as the Titans made their way toward another TD, the Ravens, already shy on players, suffered an injury…Marcus Ayala of Vista Del Lago took one for the team. But once he cleared the field, Vince Lewis added that second TD to Tahquitz’ totals. Then Ibarra chipped in another point. With three minutes left, Titan RJ Young limped out of a dog pile, but he made it to the sidelines safely. With a minute left, Raven Angel Rosales brought Vista Del Lago’s first TD of the night. But 30 seconds later, Lewis got a third Titan TD and Ibarra made the score 21 at the end of one impressive quarter.

Photo by Corey Evan / The Valley Chronicle
Tahquitz football players Andru Rosales, Deonta Simuel and Joseph Priest, postgame.

Thirty seconds into the second quarter, Lewis the TD machine brought in another followed by Ibarra with one more point. The two teams spent the next three minutes in a tug-of-war with the ball before the Ravens took a timeout to try and move the score. It worked against them at the seven minute mark, as Lewis TD’d again. Then at the six-minute mark the Ravens saw another bird strike, as Brian Vera took a hit. Kerrick Davis would add a TD of his own with 3:21 still in the quarter. Then Ibarra made with his extra point magic.
This halftime saw a special ring ceremony as Tahquitz honored its 2017 baseball team. As you may remember, back on June 2 at UC Riverside, the Titans defeated Grace Brethren 2-1 to take the Titans’ first ever CIF title. Another congratulations to these awesome Titans! In addition, the Tahquitz High School Band performed the themes from ‘80s TV shows such as “The A-Team,” “Ghostbusters” and “Hawaii Five-O,” with the Tahquitz flag twirlers putting their “spin” on the occasion.
As always, Coach Mark Redmond read Titan shout-outs over the loudspeaker at the end of halftime. For those who don’t come to Titan games, you can write up a shout-out and give it to Redmond before second quarter ends at any home game.
As third quarter got underway, the Ravens had a 35-point deficit to cut down. Would they? Nope! Deonta Simuel took in another TD for the Titans at the 9-minute mark. From there, the two teams ran the ball as officials ran the clock down…to the 0:23 mark. There, Misael Sandoval attempted to catch a TD on the fly but to no avail.
The Ravens took control of the ball at the top of the 4th, but couldn’t make it pay off. At this point, the clock was just ticking down too quickly. Despite the Ravens dragging the last 45 seconds and a last second TD by said purple-and-black birds, Tahquitz would take this game 47-12.
Coach Damon Dustin is proud of his boys for toughing out the heat wave to turn up the heat on these birds: “We had a lot of adversity this week with the heat; we couldn’t even practice Monday, then we came back out over the week and the kids put it together.”
But despite it being Labor Day weekend, Dustin and his boys didn’t take Monday off: “We’ve gotta get right back to the grind! We have a really good, tough opponent (tomorrow) in Shadow Hills, they’re really good. We’ve gotta get in practice, that’s what makes us good.”
The Titans are now 1-1 for the season, and are indeed welcoming the Knights to the shadowy Titan Canyon tomorrow. Who will come out of the shadows to take victory? Find their Friday Night Light to find out!

Elsewhere in football:
– The San Jacinto Tigers took on the Temescal Canyon Titans in Lake Elsinore and made sure their Titans remembered the Tigers, bringing home a 27-16 win to push their record to 2-0. The Tigers’ next prowl takes them to Rialto tomorrow, to take on the Carter Lions’ Pride.
– The West Valley Mustangs welcomed the opportunity to make a run at the Lakeside Lancers at home. They got lanced 33-7, sorry to say. But perhaps they’ll get their first win in their third game tomorrow, as they make a run to Grand Terrace to show their Teal Titans what it’s like to be marooned.
– The Hemet Bulldogs braved last week’s east county heat wave to take a bite out of the Lions’ pride in Cathedral City, winning 28-16. With a Bulldog record of 2-0 in the history books, the Valley View Eagles had better spend extra time preening their feathers for their visit to Bulldog Country tomorrow. Both teams will want to look good, actually; Their match will be our featured game next week.

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