Valley took the opening kickoff, and after a 28-yard run by Ebel Herrera on the first play from scrimmage, moved into scoring range on their first drive. Short passes by Troy Jackson to Marquis Powell and Antoine Palmer helped the Monarchs move to the Cougar 13. Two plays later, Jackson found Franco Stasilli all alone in the end zone, but the ball bounced off the receiver's hands for an incomplete pass. And after Southwest's Randy Park threw Terrell Patterson for a 1-yard loss on a short pass on the next down, Valley had to settle for Christian Guardado's 31-yard field goal.
And it took Crummie and the Cougars little time to erase that lead and take control of the game. Beginning from its own 34, Southwest covered 66 yards in 8 plays with Crummie carrying the ball 5 times for 53 yards on the drive. When things bogged down for the Cougars, and they faced a 4th and 2 from the Valley 21, the handoff went to the speedy Crummie. He burst through the left side of the line and into the end zone to give Southwest a lead it would hold the rest of the game.
When Valley got the ball back, the Southwest defense asserted itself, forcing a holding penalty and forcing Valley into a 4th and 14. And on the ensuing punt, Guardado kicked the ball off the left side of his foot, and the punt went just 17 yards. After getting the ball at the Valley 45, the Cougars quickly got into scoring position when Crummie broke off a 20-yard run to the 25. On the next play, Josh Williams threw a beautiful pass to what appeared to be an open receiver at the goal line, only to see Valley's Geoff Tisdale recover in time to make a spectacular play and break up the pass. But on the next play, Southwest went back to what was working best and handed the ball to Crummie. The result was a 25-yard TD run, putting the Cougars ahead, 14-3.
After an exchange of punts, Southwest again drove into Valley territory at the 49 and again tested Tisdale with a long pass. This time, the former Valencia HS standout did better than just knock the ball to the ground; he snatched the ball out of the intended receiver's hands for the interception, giving Valley the ball at its own 3. But three plays netted just 9 yards, and the Monarchs then had to punt. And when Guardado's punt went just 32 yards, the Cougars had the ball in Monarch territory.
Starting from the Valley 44, the Cougars again turned to Crummie, and again the Cougars moved down the field. A pair of 5-yard runs, a 13-yard run and a 16-yard scamper gave Southwest a first-and-goal. Then Crummie and fullback Aaron Huntley each went for 3-yard runs to move the ball to the 1. And on 4th down, the 213-pound Huntley powered through the line to make it 20-3. That Valley's Steven Johnson blocked the extra point hardly seemed to matter as the Cougars had control of the game.
The score remained 20-3 at halftime, and the Cougars held that 17-point lead despite having exactly zero yards passing in the first half. But the running game more than made up for that with Crummie accounting for 142 of Southwest's 163 total yards on offense. And the defense shut out the Valley offense for the rest of the half after the early field goal, forcing four punts and grabbing an interception.
When the second half began, Valley got back into the game with a 9-play drive featuring the passing of Jackson. The former Fairfax HS standout completed a 17-yard pass to Palmer and a 38-yard pass to Powell to get the Monarchs into scoring position, and a pair of short passes to Herrera got them a little closer. Then, from the 21, Jackson found Palmer just inside the 5 and got him the ball. Palmer did the rest, breaking away from a tackler and going into the end zone for a score that cut Southwest's lead to 10 points. And the Monarch defense responded to the opportunity to get back into the game, forcing a punt after just three plays.
But then came the sequence that essentially finished off Valley's chances. On the punt, Williams' low line-drive went past return man Garrett Feig, who decided to let the ball roll into the end zone. The only problem was that the ball stopped rolling at the 1. Feig then picked it up, but only got to the 4 before being swarmed by a host of Cougars. Then on first down, Valley was flagged for a false start, moving the ball back to the 2. Two plays later, Jackson looked to his right before throwing a quick screen pass to his left. However, Southwest's Jeremy Powell never bought the head-fake. As the ball approached, he jumped in front of the receiver, caught the pass in stride and carried it 13 yards into the end zone for a Cougar touchdown. And when Crummie carried the ball into the end zone for the 2-point conversion, the Southwest lead was 18 at 28-10.
When Valley got the ball, they managed one last drive in an effort to stay in the game. Again, Jackson's passing moved the ball; his 18-yard toss to Palmer got the Monarchs into Southwest territory and a pair of short passes got the ball to the 35. But there the drive ran out. On 4th and 1 from the 35, Jackson's pass fell incomplete, giving the Cougars the ball once again.
And when the Southwest offense came out on the field, once again they turned to Crummie. And once again, that proved to be an excellent strategy as the speedy runner broke off a 30-yard run to get the Cougars into scoring position once again. This time the drive ended when Williams faked handing the ball to Crummie but instead threw the ball to a wide-open Huntley, who had no defender within 10 yards of him. That TD catch was from 9 yards out, and effectively sealed the win for Southwest.
Valley's second QB, Corey Jones, did a nice job directing a scoring drive midway through the fourth quarter, but by then the game's outcome was no longer in doubt. Jones completed passes of 18 yards to Palmer, 19 yards to Lance Harper and 14 yards to Stasilli. Herrera finished the 12-play drive with a 4-yard run. But that only closed the gap to 35-17, and less than 5 minutes remained on the clock.
For Southwest, Crummie's rushing yards accounted for 179 of Southwest's 268 total yards of offense. The big night increased his season total to 403 yards and 6 TDs rushing. Not to be overlooked, however, was the excellent lead blocking of fullback Huntley, who also had a touchdown rushing and a touchdown receiving. And the Southwest defense was strong all night, pressuring the Valley quarterbacks and holding the Monarchs to just one touchdown and a field goal until after the game's outcome was decided. DE Nicholas Enriquez had a pair of sacks, Jeremy Powell had a pair of interceptions (including the one he returned for the TD) and Randy Park was just about everywhere (one interception, one deflection and an important tackle-for-loss).
For Valley, the season-long struggle continues as the Monarchs fall to 0-6. Jackson finished 16 for 27 for 180 yards and a TD, but also threw 3 interceptions. Palmer led all receivers with 6 catches for 78 yards and a score. Herrera led Monarch rushers with 65 yards on 13 carries and a TD. On defense, Tisdale had his usual strong game with a great play to save a touchdown and an interception. But Southwest found a way to minimize his effectiveness against the passing game by not passing the ball.
And considering how effective Crummie was in rushing the ball, there was no need to pass.
Rushing: V: 32-Herrera 13-65, 28-Patterson 4-17, 7-Jackson 3-(-11), 18-Jones 2-(-13) S: 24-Crummie 22-179, 23-Alexander 5-29, 42-Huntley 7-20, 45-Ewell 2-12, 12-Williams 7-9, 16-Cruz 1-2, 22-E.Johnson 2-(-1), 20-Small 2-(-3)
Passing: V: 7-Jackson 16-27-3-180, 1 TD; 18-Jones 4-12-1-57 S: 12-Williams 4-9-1-21, 1 TD
Receiving: V: 2-Palmer 6-78, 3-Harper 4-55, 6-Powell 3-59, 84-Stasilli 2-18, 32-Herrera 2-9, 88-Palameres 1-12, 33-Pitts 1-7, 28-Patterson 1-(-1) S: 19-White 1-12, 42-Huntley 1-9, 24-Crummie 1-3, 8-Feagin 1-(-3)
Int-Ret Yds: V: 9-Tisdale 1-0 S: 13-Powell 2-13, 1-Jones 1-0, 34-R.Park 1-0
Fumble Rec.: none
Sacks-Yds: V: 43-Fale'Ofa 1-12 S: 11-Enriquez 2-11, 5-Quander 1-7
Punters: V: 14-Guardado 4-31.3 avg. S: 12-Williams 4-48.0 avg
Kick Ret: V: 21-S.Johnson 3-65, 28-Patterson 1-26 S: 24-Crummie 2-52
Punt Ret: V: 1-Feig 4-52 S: 19-White 1-2, 27-Maldonado 1-0
Missed FG: V: none S: 29-Guevara 37 yds (short, wide right)
Notes: Southwest is now 3-3 while Valley falls to 0-6. Tisdale snatched the ball away from a receiver for his int. LASW's Jones' int bounced off R. Park's fingertips but R. Park got his own int later in the game. Jackson started at QB for Valley; Jones entered in the 2nd. Jackson went back in for the final (Hail Mary) pass at the end of the first half and played until his 3rd int early in the 4th. Jones re-entered and guided the last TD drive. One of Williams' punts rolled to the 1 (Feig picked it up and carried it to the 4); Powell's int/TD came 3 plays later.
V – FG Guardado 31 yds 10:17 -- 0-3
S – Crummie 21 yd run (Guevara kick) 5:32 -- 7-3
S – Crummie 25 yd run (Guevara kick) 2:58 -- 14-3
S – Huntley 1 yd run (kick blocked) 4:50 -- 20-3
V – Palmer 21 yd pass from Jackson (Guardado kick) 9:48 -- 20-10
S – Powell 13 yd interception return (Crummie run) 6:14 -- 28-10
S – Huntley 9 yd pass from Williams (Guevara kick) 13:04 -- 35-10
V – Herrera 4 yd run (Guardado kick) 4:45 -- 35-17
|Team Statistics:||LA Valley||LA Southwest|
|First Downs||15 (3 run; 10 pass; 2 penalty)||14 (12 run; 2 pass)|
|Rushes – Yards||22-58||48-247|
|Comp - Att – Int||20-39-4||4-9-1|
|Sacks – Yards||1-12||3-18|
|Fumbles – Lost||0-0||1-0|
|Penalties – Yards||14-133||7-55|
|Time of Possession||26:30||33:30|