Victor Valley Blows Past Antelope Valley

Jamiel Van Over returned an interception in the game's first minute to set the tone for Victor Valley (2-5 overall, 1-4 in conference) in a 34-9 win over host Antelope Valley (3-4, 1-4) on a windy day at Marauder Stadium in Lancaster on October 16th.  Three different Ram running backs scored second-half touchdowns and another, Ryan Gilbert, rushed for 124 yards as VVC extended a 7-3 halftime lead by scoring on their first four possessions of the second half.

To start the game, AVC's Jerry Williams returned the opening kickoff to the 22.  Then came a 3-yard run by Aaron Wilson.  On the next play, QB Michael Woods tried to throw a short pass to Wilson, but VVC's Van Over read the play all the way.  He casually stepped in front of Wilson, caught the ball in stride and carried it 17 yards and into the end zone to give the Rams the lead 54 seconds into the game.  Just that quickly, VVC had a lead it would hold the rest of the game.

That would be the only touchdown of the first half though AVC cut the margin to 7-3 on a 24-yard field goal by Justin Miranda midway through the quarter.  The Marauders took advantage of a Victor Valley mistake when VVC's Kenneth Kinsey muffed a punt and Andy Watts recovered for the home team at the Ram 34.  But that would not only be the only scoring for AVC in the first half, it would be the only points by AVC until the final few minutes of the game when the outcome was no longer in doubt.

During a scoreless second quarter, the winds became much gustier and an intermittent cloud of dust (from a freshly-graded lot across the street) blew towards the stadium.  That put a premium on a strong ground attack, which played right into Victor Valley's strength.  After achieving just 4 first downs in the first half, VVC would score 4 touchdowns in the second half to take command of the game.

From the beginning of the second half, the Rams held the advantage.  A 10-play, 72-yard drive to begin the third quarter ended with a 2-yard scoring run by 260-lb fullback Bennie Curry to make it 14-3.  AVC tried to answer back with a drive of their own, but soon was forced to punt.  Then the conditions became a factor as Miranda was forced to punt into the wind.  His kick went high into the air, but as the ball reached its apex it was blown back towards him like a boomerang.  When the ball fell, VVC's Cedric Flynn unwisely tried to grab the bouncing ball, only to see AVC's Ngaluma'a Ikahihifo snatch it away from him.  The result was just a 2-yard punt for Miranda, but AVC had the ball back for a first down.

But the drive ended moments later when Woods and Juston Freeman missed connections on a handoff and fumbled the ball.  VVC's Keith Stanley grabbed the bouncing spheroid, and started to run.  As he crossed the AVC 40-yard line, he was tackled and the ball popped loose.  However, just to show which side was getting the breaks, Stanley's fumble bounced out of bounds, giving the Rams the ball at the Marauder 38.  Two plays later, Curry powered through the AVC line and just kept going, scoring his second touchdown of the day.  This one came from 27 yards out and made the score 21-3.

Three plays later, AVC was again forced to punt, but by then the 3rd quarter had ended and the teams had changed ends.  So Miranda's punt was now with the wind, and the ball went bouncing through the end zone for a 65-yard punt.  As VVC started another drive, QB Mark Moore scrambled down the right side for what appeared to be a large gain.  But as he was hit, the ball popped out.  Several Marauders had a chance at recovering the fumble, but finally it was VVC's Steve O'Bannon who secured the ball at the AVC 31 to keep the drive alive.  A short time later, Derrick Christoff scored from 2 yards out to make it 27-3 with just under 7 minutes left.  Kicker Tim Rico, who had kicked several touchbacks on kickoffs with the wind at his back, saw his extra point try get blown wide left by the fierce wind; the ball bounced nearly parallel to the end line after hitting the ground.

AVC finally scored a touchdown on their next drive as Woods' passing took them down the field.  He completed passes of 14 and 12 yards to Dusten Stowe to get the ball well into VVC territory, and finished the drive with a 25-yard TD toss to DeAndre Day.  AVC then tried for a 2-point conversion to cut the margin to 16, but Woods' pass intended for Day got caught in the jet stream and sailed over the receiver's head to keep it 27-9.

AVC then tried an onsides kick, but it failed to travel the required 10 yards, giving the ball to VVC at the Marauder 43.  The Rams then finished out the scoring on a drive consisting almost entirely of runs by reserve RB Eric Williams.  Williams gained 44 yards on the drive including a 1-yard TD run to finish it off.

For Victor Valley, Gilbert led the way with 124 yards but he was just part of a strong Ram running attack.  Curry added 65 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Moore had 60 yards on just 8 carries (most of that coming on his long run that ended in the fumble, which O'Bannon recovered).  In all, VVC amassed 314 yards on the ground.  And Van Over was a terror on defense all afternoon.  In addition to his interception return, he also had three tackles for loss including VVC's only quarterback sack of the day. 

For Antelope Valley, Woods finished 8 of 18 passing for 105 yards and a touchdown.  Wilson led the Marauders with 87 yards rushing, though it took 28 carries to total those yards.  Stowe led all receivers with 4 catches for 50 yards.  Ngaluma'a Ikalilifo led the way on defense with a sack and a fumble forced & recovered, while John Ikahihifo also registered a sack.

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter:
V – Van Over 17 yd interception return (Rico kick) 14:06 -- 7-0
A – FG Miranda 24 yds 6:59 -- 7-3                    

2nd Quarter:
No Scoring 

3rd Quarter:
V – Curry 2 yd run (Rico kick) 8:32 -- 14-3
V – Curry 27 yd run (Rico kick) 1:05 -- 21-3                                                     

4th Quarter:
V – Christoff 2 yd run (kick wide left) 6:52 -- 27-3
A – Day 25 yd pass from Woods (pass failed) 5:31 -- 27-9
V – E. Williams 1 yd run (Rico kick) 0:10 -- 34-9

Team Statistics: Antelope Valley Victor Valley
First Downs 13 (6 run; 7 pass) 17 (15 run; 2 pen)
Rushes – Yards 39-126 52-314
Passing Yards 105 11
Comp - Att – Int 8-19-1 3-6-0
Return Yards 49 58
Sacks – Yards 2-5 1-7
Fumbles – Lost 3-1 7-2
Penalties – Yards 10-58 9-50
Time of Possession 27:44 32:16   

Individual Statistics:

Rushing: A:  26-Wilson 28-87, 41-Freeman 4-21, 43-Wallace 4-18, 11-Woods 3-0 V:  2-Gilbert 13-124, 33-Curry 11-65, 18-Moore 8-60, 26-E.Williams 10-48, 28-Christoff 8-19, 20-Poole 1-(-1), team 1-(-1)

Passing: A:  11-Woods 8-18-1-105, 1 TD; team 0-1-0-0 V:  18-Moore 3-6-0-11

Receiving: A:  12-Stowe 4-50, 19-Day 1-25, 82-Munoz 1-15, 26-Wilson 1-13, 89-R.Jones 1-2 V:  2-Gilbert 1-7, 88-Riddel 1-3, 82-Kensey 1-1

Int-Ret Yds: A:  none V:  45-Van Over 1-17                    

Sacks-Yds: A:  10-N.Ikahihifo 1-3, 63-J.Ikahihifo 1-2  V:  45-Van Over 1-7

Fum Rec-R Yds: A:  10-N.Ikahihifo 1-0, 80-Watts 1-0 V:  3-Stanley 1-24

Punters: A:  9-Miranda 7-32.0 avg V:  15-Toftner 4-36.8 avg

Kick Ret: A:  34-Jer.Williams 2-45, 99-Ross 1-0 V:  35-McCovery 1-15

Punt Ret: A:  7-Newton 2-4 V:  82-Kensey 3-2, 30-Flynn 1-0

Missed FG: A:  none V:  69-Rico 25 yds (wide left)

Notes: AVC entered 3-3 overall, 1-3 in conference; VVC entered 1-5, 0-4 in conference.  AVC's FG came after Kensey's punt muff, which Watts recovered.  VVC's 3rd TD came after Freeman's fumble, which Stanley recovered.  14-Torres appeared to get a finger on Miranda's second punt (it went 19 yards).  It was quite windy – and Miranda had a punt into the wind that went 2 yards.  Flynn tried to catch the ball but N.Ikahihifo snatched the ball away from him.  Miranda later had a 65-yd punt that would have been longer but it bounced through the end zone…with the wind, of course.  62-O'Bannon recovered a Moore fumble to keep VVC's 4th TD drive alive after several AVC defenders had a chance at it.  85-Kilgore recovered a loose ball for VVC on the game's final kickoff.

 


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