Valley Christian finishes business

VC Defeats Arizona Lutheran for 2A title

All season long the Valley Christian motto was "Unfinished Business".  Saturday at McClintock High School, the Trojans completed their business, handing the Arizona Lutheran Coyotes a 45-28 loss in the 2A football championship. 


Valley Christian had a new coach this season, former Show Low head coach Bill Morgan.  However, the nucleus from last season's 12-1 team was back this year headed up by runningbacks Reggie Sheffield and JP Grako.  Their lone loss a year ago, to Phoenix Christian in the title game.  This time the Trojans willed their way to the title.  It wasn't easy, however, as ALA put up a fight.


Sheffield set the tone early when he scored from 55 yards on Valley Christian's first possession.  The Coyotes came back quickly, scoring on a 15 yard pass from senior signal caller Justin Salzwedel to Jeremy Burmeister.  The Trojans own senior quarterback, Ben Bergsma topped off the next drive by scoring from a yard out to make it a 14-7 game.  Later in the half, after a fumble recovery by VC's Steven Gean, the Trojans went up 21-7 on Dane Rymer's 15 yard sweep. 


The Trojans pretty much sewed up the game when they went 91 yards early in the third quarter, Sheffield scoring from 3 yards, to take a commanding 28-7 lead.  Sheffield ended the game with 161 yards rushing on 25 carries to go along with the two touchdowns.


Give the Coyotes some credit.  They fought to the end.  They scored on a razzle-dazzle two pass play, Burmeister to Jeremiah Salzwedel.  They later added scores from Justin Salzwedel to Drew Shroeder to make the game close.  Final score, 45-28. 


Grako was a thorn in the side of ALA all game.  He was a force on defense, helping to limit the ground game of the Coyotes to virtually nothing after averaging over 245 yards per game.  He also picked up 60 yards and a touchdown on offense. 


Bergsma was quietly efficient, rushing for 64 yards and 2 TDs and adding 108 yards through the air on 6 of 7 passing. 


Justin Salzwedel and Drew Shroeder bore most of the brunt of the offense with the Coyotes unable to rush the ball.  Salzwedel threw for 204 yards and 2 scores to Schroeder who brushed off a sub-par first half to finish strong with 112 yards receiving to go along with the scores. 


Hats off to both teams.  Bill Morgan and his Trojans proved they were the best in 2A this season.  Except for an asterick* loss to Blue Ridge that was called at halftime for lightning, they had a perfect season.  Doug Meyer's Coyotes were the best of the rest, losing only twice to Valley Christian.  Expect both teams to be somewhat down next season as they both lose a ton of seniors.  However, both coaches have programs that will enable them to be contenders for years to come.  Congratulations to both Valley Christian and Arizona Lutheran for outstanding seasons.   

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