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Trojans fall to Mustangs
Silver Valley wraps five-game road trip
ACTON • The Silver Valley football team suffered its third loss in a row on Friday night, falling to Vasquez, 16-7, in a Desert Mountain League road match.
“It was another dogfight,” said Trojans head coach John Stewart. “It was tied at halftime, but in the second half they made a couple of big plays.”
After a scoreless first quarter, each team scored in the second. The Mustangs got on the board first, but Valley made sure it was knotted by the break. Before the clock ran down, Brian Ili got to the end zone on an inside run that broke to the outside, and James Liker’s kick was good, making it 7-7 going in to the second half.
“We started with the ball, but had a red zone turnover. They had a field goal after that,” said Stewart on how the second began. “We had three turnovers in key situations, all at the 20-yardline each time. That really hurt us.”
Ili and Dan Quixchan each had about 75 yards rushing, and Evan Martinez had 30 yards rushing and 150 yards throwing for the Trojans.
The outcome left the two teams with nearly identical records, at 4-3, 2-2 for Valley, and 4-3, 3-2 for Vasquez. And even though the Mustangs got the win, it was the lowest offensive output they’ve had all season.
“In all, I thought our defense did pretty well; they’ve been scoring about 35 points per game, so we held them to way below their average,” said Stewart. “We just couldn’t get our offense to click. We’d drop passes or our timing just wasn’t there.”
It was the third consecutive loss, and the third game in a row the Trojans have been without the services of Dante Fields. Fields fractured a knee in the Sept. 28 win over Desert Christian, Valley’s last victory.
“Hopefully he’ll be back against Boron or in our last game. I hope we make the playoffs and give him a chance to go in his senior year,” said coach Stewart of Fields. “He’s hard to replace. His leadership is invaluable. We haven’t been the same team since we lost him.”
The coach also thinks the end of the five-game road trip should be a help to his players. Silver Valley hasn’t played at home since Sept. 6.
“We’re finally done with our road trip. We need our home stretch,” said Stewart. “We’ve probably traveled 1,000 miles in the past five weeks. We need some home cooking.”
The Trojans will host Riverside Prep (2-5, 0-4) on Friday at 7 p.m.