With young players and a developing program, Shadow Ridge cannot afford mistakes in any game.
Yet, two critical turnovers in the first half opened the flood gates and Valley Vista took full advantage. Scoring on its first four possessions, the Monsoon was more like a tsunami in defeating host Shadow Ridge 43-0.
In creating a spot on their schedule for Surprise neighbor Valley Vista, Stallions coach Rico Tipton said for his fledging program to grow more competitive, they have to engage opponents like Valley Vista.
“Not too long ago, (Valley Vista) was in the same position we’re in right now,” Tipton said. “We’re young and learning. This team is hungry, and we’ll win our share of games this season.”
Playing without two leaders, wide receiver Devon Brown and lineman Vincent Kieu, Tipton said the Stallions were at a disadvantage. In reality, the two turnovers early put Shadow Ridge at a quick disadvantage. Quickly, the Monsoon propelled off to a rapid start, and showed why they've broke out of the gate with a 4-0 record.
From the beginning, Valley Vista scored in repeated possessions, and the turnovers merely exacerbated a difficult Stallions' situation.
First, Monsoon quarterback Dalvin Richardson took the opening kick-off and promptly engineered an 8-play, 51 yard drive. That culminated in a three yard touchdown run by senior Brandon Bendele with 8:24 remaining in the opening period.
Gaining their first possession, Stallions’ quarterback Kevin Broich fumbled on a second-and-11 from his own 29 yard line, and the Monsoon’s Giovanni Pascacio recovered at that spot. On the second play of the subsequent Valley Vista drive, Richardson hit Jacob Bukowiecki on an 18 yard scoring strike and a quick 15-0 lead.
From the ensuing kickoff, Broich was picked off by the Monsoon’s Zac Newman on the Shadow Ridge 11 yard line. This time, Coleman sprinted up the middle and scored on an 11 yard dash with 1:12 left in the opening period, and Valley Vista was out to a comfortable 22-0 lead.
With Richardson passing (7-10, 155 yards, three touchdowns) and the Monsoon ground game picking up 157 yards, they roared out to a 43-0 lead at intermission.
“We’re a good, two dimensional team,” said Jason Wilke, the Valley Vista coach. “We can run and we can throw, and I like the way (Richardson) is handling the offense. He’s making great decisions, and I like our execution.”
If there is any consolation for Shadow Ridge, Tipton looks to a promising future. He senses a strong rivalry in the making, and the close, geographical nature of the teams will create an added competitive edge to both sides.
“Definitely, I can see games with Valley Vista and Willow Canyon developing as strong rivalries,” Tipton added. “At this point, we’re just hungry for wins, and we know they will come.”
For the Monsoon, Coleman finished with 82 yards on 15 carries, scored twice (a run and a reception), and picked up two points by running in a conversion. Richardson ended with a 7-for-10 night, 155 yards and three scoring strikes.
The Valley Vista defense made everything difficult for the Stallions. Held to a net of 39 rushing yards and limiting Broich to just two completions in nine attempts and one pick, the Monsoon defense also allowed only six first downs the entire game.