Valley Center Jaguars 27, Granite Hills Eagles 21
Valley Center affirmed that old saying Friday night, its not how you start its how you finish. The first three quarters of the game were not the real Jaguars, they did not show up in El Cajon until the fourth. After the Granite Hills Eagles went out to a 21-7 lead in the fourth quarter, Valley Center stormed back with 20 unanswered points to take the win in overtime 27-21.
Granite Hills will be kicking themselves for this loss. It was a good game for the defense and just enough offense to win. After being tied 7-7 at half the Eagles scored on two of their first three possessions of the second half to take a 21-7 lead into the fourth quarter. That’s when like Dave Chappelle used to say, keeping it real went wrong. Following that the Valley Center Jaguars went on a scoring spree.
There’s always a turning point in close games and especially in comebacks. This game’s turning point was no doubt when quarterback Rikki Mazzetti found his receiver Brock Moffitt on the second of their fourth quarter connections for a 69 yard touchdown. That scoring drive brought the game back to 21-21 with just 45 seconds left to play as the stadium fell dead silent in shock. A big crowd sounded like someone had just knocked the wind out of their collective bodies as they watched the Valley Center sideline erupt.
Granite Hills moved the ball down the field with only seconds left to play in the game in what was to be the game winning drive. On comes the special teams unit for the Eagles to execute the winning field goal. Only issue was the problem they had all night, Valley Center’s Daniel Belcher. Belcher would come around the outside and throw his hand up at the ball, punching away the kick that would have done his team in. To overtime we go.
The Belcher nightmare would not go away for Granite Hills, in fact it got worse. Daniel Belcher was Michael Meyers for Granite, he just wouldn’t stop. Not only did Belcher send the game into OT, he ran in a 3 yard touchdown on Valley Center’s opening drive of the extra period. After missing the mandatory 2 point conversion (OT rules), it’s 27-21 Jaguars. Oh, you though Belcher was done? No, he’s back for part 4 and 5 of the sequels. To cap his performance, on third down Belcher sacked Granite quarterback Jake Siegfried to force their final play of the game. Siegfried found a receiver who had daylight, the first down, and maybe the game tying/winning touchdown, but he forgot to catch the ball first. Game Over. 27-21 Valley Center.
Week 4 brings us another big North County vs East County match up. This game features a team with one loss against a team with one win. On paper it may appear to be a mismatch but the a fore mentioned 1 win Granite Hills Eagles have their lone win against a North County team (San Pasqual). Not only was that win against a North County opponent but the victory came on their only home game so far this season, where the Eagles will play the Valley Center Jaguars this Friday at 7 pm. That is what the Eagles have going for them, what they do not is the last two week’s results. Drake’s “back to back” probably isn’t being played in the Granite locker room after back-to-back 37-7 losses to Valhalla and Steele Canyon respectively. Its hard to say who’s to blame, the offense who has only scored 28 points in 4 games or the defense who has allowed a whopping 86 points in that same amount. Either way, the Eagles need to put that behind them and focus on the Jaguars if they hope to inch closer to moving back to .500.
Despite a blowout loss to a ranked Mater Dei team, the Valley Center Jaguars have had a great start to the 2016 season. Coming in with a 3-1 record following 3 straight wins has the Jags clicking on all cylinders. One thing we know about Valley Center is that they know how to win close games. All three of their wins have come with a single possession point differential, 6 points 3 points and 3 points respectively. If the Jags are going to get beat their opponent has to get on them early, if it’s a game VC is always dangerous. Led by Rikki Mazzetti at quarterback the offense can put up points in bunches. If Mazzetti continues to click with his weapons Keith Vazquez and Brock Moffitt at receiver, it will be a rough night for the Granite secondary.
Matchup of the week: Daniel Belcher and his O-line vs Granite Hills run defense
Double duty this week for the Eagles defensive coordinator, because Daniel Belcher is not only great running the rock but he can catch it just as well. Belcher averages 18 yards a reception and has a receiving touchdown to go along with his gaudy 546 yards in 4 games out of the back field. The Eagles defensive line needs to neutralize a powerful Jaguar O-line that has piled up a 176 yards per game average on the ground. The task is significant for the Granite Hills Eagles this week, but if they hope to grab their second win of the season they must first stop Belcher and the O-line.