Sutter rallies in second half to beat West Valley
Sutter High's goal-line stand in the fourth quarter helped lift the Huskies to a 21-14 homecoming win over West Valley on Friday night.
Trailing by a touchdown, the visiting Eagles had a first down at the 4-yard line with less than 8 minutes to go in the game, but the Sutter defense kept West Valley out of the end zone.
“Our defense picked it way up big time,” Huskies coach Scott Turner said.
Anthony Oliva gained 2 yards on first down, but on second down, the Huskies' Tyler Morehead dumped Oliva for a 3-yard loss to put the ball on the 5. On third down, Scott Kinyon bolted up the middle to the 1 before he was gang-tackled by several Huskies.
On fourth down, Andy Miller tried to go off right tackle for the score, but the middle of the Huskies defense stopped him about a foot short.
Sutter got the ball back just outside its own end zone with 6:20 to play. Mitch Sanders shocked West Valley on first down by rolling around his left side, picking up 27 yards out to the 28. It was only his third carry of the game.
With some breathing room, the Huskies moved the ball out to midfield before sputtering. Facing a fourth-and-one situation at the 50 with 2:24 to play, Sutter elected to go for it. Chad Moran muscled his way forward for six yards and the first down at the 44.
From there, Sutter (3-1) ran out the clock to preserve the win.
The second half was a complete reversal of the first half. Not only did the Huskies shut out the Eagles in the second half, but Sutter also cut down on its own mistakes and penalties to open upturn around what was once a 14-7 halftime deficit.
“Our only drives that were stopped were by our own selves,” Turner said.
Penalties, including a couple of personal fouls, robbed Sutter of momentum in the first half.
“We didn't commit many penalties in the second half, and that was the difference,” Turner said.
On its second possession of the third quarter, Sutter moved the ball 58 yards in eight plays to tie the game, 14-14. Moran scored the TD from 1-yard out and Derek Carothers booted the extra point.
Key plays on the drive were back-to-back 13- and 7-yard passes from Joe Winship to Sanders and Brian Montoya.
Sutter got the ball back in excellent field position on its next possession when the Eagles' punt into a stiff wind netted a minus 1-yard. Six plays later, Moran bowled his way over from the 1 to cap the 34-yard drive and Carothers' extra point gave the Huskies a 21-14 lead with 1:04 left in the third quarter.
Sutter's first touchdown came on its opening possession of the game, when Moran scored off a 1-yard blast to cap an eight-play, 47-yard drive. The Eagles tied the game, 7-7, on their ensuing possession, when Josh McOmber scored from 15 yards out.
West Valley got the ball right back when Oliva recovered a fumble at the 16. Seventeen plays later, Oliva plunged over from 1-yard out to give the Eagles a 14-7 lead with 6:59 left in the first half.
Moran and Boe Robinson were workhorses for Sutter. Moran gained 88 yards on 21 carries and Robinson added 73 yards on 10 rushes, as the Huskies amassed 242 yards on the ground. Winship completed 6 of 11 passes with for 49 yards with an interception.
Oliva, who rushed for 103 yards in the first half for the Eagles, was held to 19 yards in the second half to finish with 122 yards on 31 carries. West Valley ran for 244 yards. Troy Duenas completed 1 of 6 passes for 9 yards and an interception.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Richard Myers can be reached at 749-4714. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.