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Cavaliers crush Emperors’ hope of late game victory

Cavaliers crush Emperors’ hope of late game victory

CVC blocks late game field goal attempt to defeat Dinuba 35-34, extend winning streak to four

By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN

DINUBA – The Central Valley Christian Cavaliers extended their winning streak from three to four when they snuck out of Dinuba with a 35-34 win over the Emperors.

In a game full of offensive highlights the play that turned CVC’s chances was a third down defensive stand. Down 34-27, the Cavaliers forced an Emperor punt and got the ball back at their own 31 yard-line with 8:25 left in the game.

In short order, CVC senior quarterback Tyce Griswold landed the ball just over a Dinuba defender and into the trusty hands of running back Jaalen Rening on a wheel route. From there it was just a matter of speed as Rening created separation from the Dinuba defense, and ended with a 69-yard score.

“That was all coach Nick Richardson [who made that call]. He has been with me forever, he’s an amazing man, and he’s a really good coach,” CVC head coach Mason Hughes said.

CVC took the lead 35-34 with a risky two point conversion. But the game was far from over with 8:25 left.

When Dinuba got the ball back, their senior quarterback Josh Magana orchestrated a drive from their 30 yard-line down into scoring range. Magana made a huge gain on the first play when he rolled out of the pocket and passed across the field to wide receiver Christobal Ramos. In the red zone, Magana hit his favorite target of night in Brian Campbell to convert a third and seven.

Campbell had two deep first half touchdowns, but after catching the ball at the five yard-line to convert the third down, he couldn’t break a Rening tackle that shut him out of the end zone. As it turned out that was the game clinching tackle.

CVC’s goal line defense broke through the line for a tackle for loss, then sacked Magana on the following play. When Dinuba lined up for a 25-yard field goal attempt, the Cavaliers broke through again. With the help of a botched snap and late hold CVC managed to smother the kick and get the ball back.

Friday’s matchup was eerily similar to their game in 2017 when CVC took the one point lead, just to have it slip away when Magana took his team down the field for a late game touchdown. Hughes was chiefly aware of the similarities in real time.

“It felt like two years ago again. We took the lead, and we went for two. They went right down the field, they ran a screen, and they went and scored. To be honest it didn’t feel good. This time I was thinking about how we were going to respond and score,” Hughes said.

It could have been easy for CVC to hang their heads early on when Dinuba went up 14-0 with a short touchdown scamper by Magana and 50-yard touchdown pass to Campbell. While Rening was able to reel off a 58-yard touchdown in response, Magana hit Campbell again for a 27-yard touchdown strike to go up 21-6.

“Sometimes I don’t’ keep my head but these kids have a resolve in them…they have this resolve to never quit…when someone yells at them they don’t fold. They are men,” Hughes said.

The Cavaliers leaned on Rening to bring them to within a point before half time when he returned a punt to the Dinuba 2-yard line and then plunged into the end zone, and then on a running back pass Rening hit Levi De Jong running free down the middle of the field.

Dinuba defenders were able to make up some ground but De Jong weaved in and out of the defense to charge into the end zone, turning a 15 point deficit to one by half.

Now CVC will take their four game winning streak back home to face off against the Kingsburg Vikings (6-0) on Friday, Oct. 11.

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Editor and reporter for The Sun-Gazette. Vice president of Mineral King Publishing, Inc.

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