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Clayton Valley completes incredible comeback

Brenden Bush and Clayton Valley defeated Cal, 20-16. Gregory Moreland-Tuhn / Staff Photo
Brenden Bush and Clayton Valley defeated Cal, 20-16. Gregory Moreland-Tuhn / Staff Photo

It was possibly the game of the year, as No. 5 Clayton Valley Charter (2-) barely squeaked one out against the very talented California Grizzlies (1-1). In a comeback effort, the Ugly Eagles ended up winning this game, 20-16, by outscoring Cal 13-0 in the second half. 

The game started strong, as Jake Kern led the Ugly Eagles right down the field. The methodical drive took nearly seven minutes off the clock in the first quarter. It ended with Kern throwing a touchdown pass to Isaiah Underwood for his first of the night. This would put up Clayton Valley 7-0 after the first drive of the game. 

Clayton Valley’s defense came out flying around early in the game, as the first play was a dropped interception that led to a three-and-out. Cal’s defense responded and made some big adjustments in this game after getting picked apart on the first drive. 

The first touchdown of the day for Cal came off of a trick play on a double pass that left wide receiver Darius Foster wide open for a 10-yard touchdown to tie the game at 7-7.

Cal’s offense was not done yet, though. They got some favorable field position after the Ugly Eagles did not punt on a few occasions and were able to capitalize. A strike from quarterback Teddy Booras to Jake Calcagno put Cal in the lead for the first time on the night. A missed extra point made the score 13-7. 

Cal’s defense was the story of the first half. They picked off Kern three times on the night. There were incredible plays all over the field, as tipped balls were intercepted and consistently put pressure on Kerns. 

Cal turned two of these interceptions into points, as it finished with nine points off turnovers, including a field goal that made the score 16-7.

A lot changed coming out of the half for Clayton Valley, including a switch at the quarterback position. Kern took a seat, and thrusted into action was the backup, Brenden Bush. Bush played lights out in the second half, bringing the Ugly Eagles to the goal line multiple times. But Cal’s defense had an amazing goal line stand on of the early second half drives keeping the score 16-7. 

However, the running backs for Clayton Valley kept pounding away. Each yard they got was hard earned, and eventually Omari Taylor finally plunged one in from one yard out for his first touchdown of the ballgame. This made the score 16-13.

Cal’s offense continued to move the ball in the second half, having multiple opportunities to add on to the lead but could not get into the endzone. But twice it sent out its field goal unit, and twice it missed kicks. Special teams ended up playing a key role in the outcome. However, they were not the only team to have kicking miscues. Another goal line stand by the Grizzlies brought out Clayton Valley’s field goal unit, which missed a field goal as well. A total of five missed kicks in tonight’s game drastically played a role in the outcome.

Clayton Valley was down to just under five minutes to go when it got the ball for the final time in the game. Bush led his team down the field, and it looked like they were going to have first and goal after a big Taylor run. Not so fast, though, as a clipping call put them back to first-and-25. Then more flags came flying on a false start. The Ugly Eagles went from a possible first-and-goal at the 7-yard line to a first-and-30 at the 43. But a screen pass from Bush to Underwood worked perfectly as Underwood streaked down the sideline untouched for a 43-yard touchdown to win the game.

Cal tried to drive down the field with just over a minute to go, and a last-second trick play did not pan out, as it became a heartbreaking loss for the Grizzlies.

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Box Score:

Clayton Valley

Rushing: Omari Taylor: 13 carries, 44 yards, 1 TD. Rahsaan Woodland: 16 carries, 101 yards. 

Passing: Jake Kern: 95 yards, TD. Brenden Bush: 119 yards, TD.

Receiving: Alex Bush: 3 catches, 47 yards. Isaiah Underwood 3 catches, 75 yards, 2 TD. Andrew Woolard Jr.: 5 catches, 58 yards. Omari Taylor: 3 catches, 43 yards. Rahsaan Woodland: 1 catch, 4 yards.


Rushing: Giovanni Phillips: 8 carries, 15 yards. Jake Hubbard: 5 carries, 28 yards. Jake Calcagno: 1 carry, 7 yards. Teddy Booras: 4 carries, 10 yards. Brody Bartusch: 1 carry, 3 yards.

Passing: Teddy Booras: 124 Passing Yards, 1 TD Giovanni Phillips: 10 Yards, 1 TD

Receiving: Jake Calcagno: 7 catches, 54 yards, TD. Dom Tuyor: 2 catches, 19 yards. Darius Foster: 5 catches, 27 yards, TD. Jake Hubbard: 4 catches, 13 yards. Josh Gerlach: 1 catch, 5 yards.

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