Week Two of the high school football season brought about some great matchups, including a battle between two of the top quarterbacks in SoCal. The Murrieta Valley Nighthawks welcomed the Apple Valley Sun Devils into their house Friday, Sept. 3, where the visiting defense held the high-powered Nighthawks to just two touchdowns, forced a fumble, blocked a punt, and had four quarterback sacks on the night.
The game was a nonleague contest for both teams, though the energy had that of a Southwestern League bout as the game progressed. Apple Valley, who have become quite the contender in recent years (17-2 since 2017 when they won the Mojave River League), brought with them a balanced offensive attack and a defensive effort that helped them in their 27-14 win.
After forcing Murrieta Valley (1-1) to punt on its first possession, Apple Valley scored when quarterback Jayden Denegal (committed to Michigan) scampered in on a one-yard touchdown run to put the Sun Devils up 7-0. The Nighthawks answered when running back Colby Lotts tied the game on a three-yard touchdown run. Kaleb Most would lift the Sun Devils back up by a touchdown when he scored on a two-yard run, capping an 80 yard, 13 play drive. What happened next would take the wind out of the home team’s sails when Apple Valley (1-2) recovered an onside
\own run to cut Apple Valley’s lead to 20-14, keeping the game close, but in the fourth quarter, with the Nighthawks looking for the possible go ahead score, Murrieta Valley was penalized for a chop block after QB Brandon Rose (committed to Utah) made his way to the Sun Devils’ 20-yard line. Apple Valley sealed the victory when Denegal scored on a 10-yard run with 4:25 to go, giving the Sun Devils a 27-14 lead.
Denegal completed 11 of 15 passes for 141 yards on the night and added 52 yards on 10 carries. Most gained 89 yards on 16 carries and receiver Logan Moon had seven receptions for 53 yards. Rose completed 11 of 22 passes for 118 yards as Lotts led Murrieta Valley on the ground with 72 yards on 13 carries. Tiger Bachmeier added six catches for 70 yards.
Quick game recaps include:
Vista Murrieta 48, Tesoro 21: The Broncos traveled to Rancho Santa Margarita where they dominated Tesoro’s defensive line accruing 411 yards on offense and six touchdowns. After scoring the game’s opening touchdown, Tesoro allowed 35 consecutive points to Vista Murrieta (2-1). Senior running backs Matthew Caldera and Gavin Galzote led the ground attack for the Broncos. Caldera had 183 yards, scoring twice and Galzote rushed for 167 yards with four touchdowns. Brady Jones was 3 for 9 with 117 yards, which included a touchdown pass to Ezekiel Vestal, who scored from 35 yards out. Vista Murrieta forced four turnovers, recovered a blocked punt and Emilio Gutierrez and Avery Adams each had interceptions for the Broncos.
Yucaipa 24, Temescal Canyon 7: Senior running back Emmanuel Barajas scored a pair of touchdowns late in the second half to lead Yucaipa over Temescal Canyon in a nonleague football game. With the victory, the Thunderbirds are now 3-0 to start the season. Barajas had 23 carries for 144 yards and two touchdowns, including a 22-yard score that helped the Thunderbirds pull away with the lead. Sophomore quarterback Kai Smith completed 8 of 18 passes for 139 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown to Everett Head. Quarterback Koa Apana and Grant Givens had the Temescal Canyon offense moving early in the first half with connections of 20 yards and 15 yards, the latter resulting in a touchdown. It would be the only score of the game for the Titans.
San Jacinto 28, Murrieta Mesa 22: Dereun Dortch threw for 286 yards and four touchdowns as the Tigers (2-1) won their second nonleague game Friday, Sept. 3. San Jacinto’s Dillon Gresham hauled in seven catches for 162 yards and a touchdown.
Etiwanda 44, Rancho Verde 0: Norion Espadron and Jordan Williams each rushed for two touchdowns as the Eagles (3-0) rolled over the Mustangs in a nonleague bout Thursday, Sept. 2.
West Valley 27, Banning 6: Fred Ference threw two touchdowns and rushed for another as the Mustangs (1-1) won their first preseason nonleague game Thursday, Sept. 2.
Other Week Two prep football scores from around the valley include:
Elsinore 30, Marina 28
Hemet 43, Rialto 21
Desert Hot Springs 46, Perris 8
Rancho Mirage 18, Tahquitz 0
Temecula Valley 44, Colony 21
Shadow Hills 13, Great Oak 7
Redlands 41, Citrus Hill 0
Silver Valley 22, Nuview Bridge 15
Western Christian 36, California Military Institute 6
Escondido Charter 2, Temecula Prep 0 (forfeit)
University Careers and Sports Academy 36, Cornerstone Christian 26
Cal Lutheran 28, Calvin Christian 6
San Jacinto Valley Academy 40, Rolling Hills Prep 34
Bishop’s 32, Rancho Christian 19
Lakeside 49, La Sierra 0
Photos and sports scores/stats/highlights can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stats, standings, results provided by MaxPreps, local ADs, fans of the game and the Valley News Sports Department.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at email@example.com.