There is an ‘I’ in Valley Christian's first win

By: Justin Lawson/Roseville Press Tribune Correspondent
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Valley Christian High School went into Saturday night’s football game winless, out of luck and looking for anything to salvage the season. If there was ever a good time to make a change, this game was it.

Coach Todd Conroy did exactly that as he introduced a power-I formation. The change invigorated the Lions as they trounced Cristo Rey 28-12 at San Juan High School.

“We went to an I formation that we haven’t been using all year, and it made us stronger,” Conroy said. “We can run down anybody’s throat when we’re doing that.”

Valley Christian is 1-6 overall and 1-5 in the Sacramento Metro Athletic Conference. Cristo Rey (2-6, 1-5 SMAL) beat the Lions 21-18 on Sept. 9.
The power running game opened the passing game for senior quarterback Wright Hagerty, who threw for three touchdowns and ran for one.

“It’s a great reward for all of the hard work we’ve put in over the season,” Hagerty said. “We’ve got a bunch of new guys. I bet this is great for them …

“Putting in our power I threw something at them that they weren’t ready for. It kind of was a spark to our usual routine. It spread out the field a little bit more when we did pass.”

With the Lions facing fourth and six, Hagerty connected with Bryan Roush on a post route for a 31-yard score to give Valley Christian an early 7-0 lead.

Caleb VanPatten and Teagan Mowry chipped away at the Saints’ defense as they combined for 37 yards during a series in the second quarter. The run game forced Cristo Rey to play near the line and gave Hagerty a chance to find Nick Norwood on a 25-yard pass on third and 10. Hagerty and Norwood connected again three plays later for a 20-yard touchdown on fourth and six to give the Lions a 14-0 lead with 5:35 remaining.

Hagerty threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Mowry with 2:45 left in the third quarter to extend the lead to 21-6.

The Lions couldn’t take a breath until Hagerty’s final score — a 13-yard run in the fourth quarter — because of the electrifying play of Cristo Rey’s Kahlil Williams, who was forced to move from running back to quarterback. The junior was a one-man highlight reel with rushing touchdowns of 67 and 46 yards.

“He is a good back,” Conroy said. “He’s their all-world guy. He’s amazing.”

Valley Christian 28, Cristo Rey 12

Valley Christian   7   7   7   7 — 28
Cristo Rey          0   0   6   6 — 12

VC — Roush 31 pass from Hagerty (Norwood kick)
VC — Norwood 20 pass from Hagerty (Norwood kick)
CR — Williams 67 run (kick blocked)
VC — Mowry 13 pass from Hagerty (Norwood kick)
CR — Williams 46 run (conversion failed)
VC — Hagerty 13 run (Norwood kick)

Next game: 7:30 p.m. Friday vs. Foresthill at Highlands High School.
About Foresthill:
The Wildfires have won six in a row since losing to Marysville in their opener. That includes a 51-6 victory over Valley Christian on Sept. 16.