By Jon D. Gaede, BVN Sports –
Redlands - Citrus Valley Coach Pete Smolin must be pleased as he has watched his Blackhawks grow from young undersized sophomores, into the school’s first senior class. Along with that size, speed and experience, the victories have also come.
Citrus Valley, the newest high school in Redlands, currently plays in the Mountain Valley League. At 3-0 (7-1) overall, they hold down first place, along with league rival Rubidoux. The two schools will collide with each other on the Blackhawk’s home field in two-weeks.
The visiting Banning Broncos gave Citrus Valley all they could handle on Friday night. Banning kick returner Styrone Hairston ran back the opening kickoff 96-yards for a Bronco touchdown. On the first Blackhawk offensive series, Junior quarterback Dalton Douglass marched his squad down the field to even the score. At 6-2, Douglass possesses a canon arm, but used his legs on this drive with runs of 40 and 22-yards. The latter for a score.
Banning took a narrow 21-20 lead at halftime. Early in the third quarter, the Blackhawk nose-tackle Stanley Glass pinned the Broncos in their own end zone for a safety. That gave the Blackhawks a thin lead at 22-21.
The Blachawks then proceeded to deliver a pounding running game that the Broncos had no answer for. Led by tailbacks Andrew Gonzales and Jason Snow, the duo combined for 240 yards on 40 carries on the night. Gonzales has 160 of those yards.
In the games final moments, quarterback Dalton Douglass took a hard hit and was replaced by able quarterback Justin Lopez. With 50 seconds left on the clock, Lopez calmly launched a 32-yard pass to a leaping Jason Snow, who caught the ball in the far left corner of the end zone to preserve the Blackhawk victory.
Citrus Valley celebrated their initial Homecoming as a school. The class of 2012 will be their initial graduating senior class.
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