The season ended for the Murrieta Nighthawks Friday night when the home team fell to visiting Corona Centennial 70-35. A painful end to a magical year for a Nighthawks team that set the school’s all time best regular season record at 9-1.
Murrieta Valley brought the offense to the contest, but the Nighthawks' normally resilient defense was absent. “I didn’t have them ready to play. Offensively, they did a great job, but I didn’t have them ready defensively.” The boys never quit,” noted Nighthawk coach Greg Ireland. “I take responsibility for this loss.”
Not many teams have been ready to play the Huskies this year. Murrieta Valley was the latest conquest for Centennial, which has won 11 straight since dropping its season opener.
The Huskies racked up 763 total yards of offense with QB Robert Webber leading the charge. He threw six touchdown passes and ran for two.
Nighthawk Quarterback Andrew Blake ended the season with a rock solid performance. He threw for four touchdowns and 327 yards, connecting on 20 of 31 passes. Senior Alex Montion had one of the touchdown receptions for the Hawks.
Wide Receiver Brandon Iacobellis returned to the Nighthawk lineup in a huge way, catching eight passes for 141 yards. He connected with Blake for two bombs in the second quarter for touchdowns. Hector Bautista added several key receptions for Murrieta Valley.
Jacob Augustin finished his high school career rushing for 128 yards behind the blocking of senior center Kyle Underwood and the rest of the “Filthy Five."
Jayvy Ragudo rounded out the MV running attack.
Augustin also scored a touchdown on a screen pass from Blake, carrying several defenders into the end zone with him.
Senior Damon Nolan also ended his High School playing days in style, creating havoc for the Huskies on every Kickoff. Nolan once again electrified the "Nighthawk Nation" with yet another of his amazing kickoff returns for a touchdown. It’s almost not a normal Nighthawks game without a Damon Nolan touchdown return.
With the ball on the one-inch line, Murrieta Valley punter Logan Matthews
executed an impossible punt from deep in the Nighthawks end zone.
The Nighthawks defense had an incredible year this season; that was not the case Friday night, and it had a tough time trying to stop the Huskies Offense.
The Nighthawks Defense was loaded with experience this season. Departing this year are seniors Terin Solomon, Michael Payne, Jordan Silva, Davis Day, DeSean Bullock. Jacob Macias, Westin Brown, Tony Iannuzi, Joshua Van Hulzen, Mike Almodovar, Ryan Baca, Mike Noone, Omar Mohamed and Martin Gallegos.
Congratulations to Ireland and his tough band of over-achieving Nighthawks for an outstanding and exciting season. Murrieta Valley finished 10-2 overall.
“All good things come to an end,” Nighthawks Coach Chris Dyer said. “This was an incredible team.”