Defense was the key that locked the game away for the Murrieta Valley Nighthawks as they shut out the Mustangs from Eastvale Roosevelt High.
Murrieta Valley’s defense forced five turnovers and totally shut down the Mustang offense, twice denying them scoring opportunities well inside the Red Zone.
Defensive linemen Jordan Silva and Michael Payne each recovered Mustang fumbles; Nighthawk Linebacker Ryan Baca added another.
Roosevelt quarterback Sean Trimble was intercepted twice, once by MV cornerback Weston Brown and then by safety Terin Solomon, who took the ball 45 yards into the end zone.
Linebackers Jacob Macias, Mike Almodovar and Kody Thornburg contained the Mustang running attack all evening.
De’sean Bullock, Lafayette Waters and Damon Nolan frustrated and shut down Roosevelt’s passing game. Murrieta Valley’s defense has only allowed 15 points in three games so far this season.
The Nighthawk offense started well, scoring on the first drive in its third consecutive game. Andrew Blake’s 18-yard TD pass to Aaron Paisley was set up by Brandon Iacobellis’ electrifying 52-yard return on the opening kickoff.
Blake threw for 199 yards, completing 16 of 35 passes.
Wide receivers Hector Bautista, Taylor Rood, Paisley and Iacobellis were his primary targets. He (and the Nighthawk defense) took MV into scoring position several times but had a hard time finding the end zone.
Kicker Alex Montion managed to convert two of five field goal opportunities for the Hawks.
Jacob Augustine carried the ball 17 times for 84 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown-run. Anthony Franco was also effective on the ground.
The Nighthawks dominated the line of scrimmage most of the evening.
Offensive linemen Jerry Boggs, Grant Hatch, Christen Kinsey and Tanner Mott opened holes and protected quarterback Blake and are developing into a very effective unit.
Coach and his Nighthawks are now 3-0. They will start packing their bags and equipment in preparation for next week‘s AWAY game.
Murrieta Valley will travel to Juneau, Alaska to play the 3-1 Crimson Bears next week. Juneau is currently ranked sixth in the state.