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Valley Christian runs over Cristo Rey

Lions face Foresthill next in a big SMAL game
By: Robbie Enos
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How many passing plays does it take to win a football game? According to Valley Christian Academy, just six. The Lions opted for a punishing rushing attack to defeat Cristo Rey 45-6 in a Sacramento Metro Athletic League game Saturday, gaining 341 yards. Combined with a consistent Aaron Perchaz, who averaged 4.4 yards per carry, and explosive plays from Jeremy Tyller, who had a 60-yard touchdown run, Valley Christian (2-1, 2-0 SMAL) pounded the rock all game. Nine players carried the ball. “Our backs were great,” Valley Christian head coach Todd Conroy said. “We’ve got a bunch of guys that are fast. Perchaz is a big fullback, but we have a lot of guys that are 100 pounds lighter than him playing the same position.” A stingy Lions defense allowed Cristo Rey only 162 yards on the ground and forced four turnovers. Tyller made a name for himself on defense as well with two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. “We made an adjustment and saw that if they ran to the outside we could block them,” Conroy said. “We kept them inside the tackle boxes; that was the biggest thing. We saw that they were trying to get outside, so we just changed it up and stopped them.” Conroy credited the offensive line, anchored by center Nick Ruth and guards Nick Norwood and Micky DeFiebre, who led the way on Perchaz’s carries and quarterback Wright Hagerty’s five sneaks for 40 yards. “Linemen were very good,” Conroy said. “We actually have been working hard with our linemen. We only have seven linemen total, so it comes down to playing both sides of the ball. They’ve been really working hard as a unit.” Valley Christian took the ball down the field on its first possession and scored on an 11-yard run by Perchaz. Cristo Rey fumbled on its next two possessions, and the Lions converted both into touchdowns – an 11-yard run by Levi Hagerty and a 60-yard run on a well-executed end around by Tyller. He then returned an interception 40 yards for a score. “The quarterback was pretty good,” Tyller said. “But our defense is pretty strong, and we did a good job.” The Lions rushed for 73 yards and two more touchdowns in the third quarter. The game grew more frustrating for Cristo Rey, as it marched 12 plays before Tyller snatched his second interception in the end zone. Next for Valley Christian is Foresthill (1-2, 1-0 SMAL) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Highlands High School. “We are going to be playing a little bit tougher team, a little bit more disciplined team,” Conroy said. “The biggest thing that we have to keep getting better at is that we can’t make mistakes, and that’s what happened when they scored their touchdown. That’s a mistake that we have worked on, about being aggressive toward the quarterback and toward the ball.” Added Tyller: “We are going to be practicing hard and getting our team in shape, getting them ready for Foresthill … and we plan on dominating them.” Granite Bay 31, Oakdale 28 – Brendan Keeney threw a late seven-yard touchdown pass to tight end Spencer Briare as the Grizzlies defeated the Mustangs at the Far West Showcase on Saturday in Dublin. Oakdale went ahead 28-24 with just under two minutes remaining. Dominic Lucia ran for two touchdowns and Danny Thomas ran for one for Granite Bay. Valley Christian 45, Cristo Rey 6 Valley Christian 14 12 13 6 -- 45 Cristo Rey 0 0 0 6 – 6 VC -- Perchaz 11 run (kick blocked) VC – L. Hagerty 11 run (run failed) VC – Tyller 60 run (kick wide) VC – Tyller 40 interception return (run failed) VC – Dillman 1 run (DeFiebre kick) VC – Wise 8 run (kick right) CR – Romero 8 pass from Williams (run failed) VC – Roush 24 pass from W. Hagerty (kick blocked) Individual statistics RUSHING – Valley Christian, Perchaz 15-66, Tyller 7-121, Dillman 6-17, W. Hagerty 5-40, L. Hagerty 5-37, Heckman 3-27, Wise 3-18, Roush 3-14, Alvarez 1-1. Cristo Rey, Romero 13-91, Lara 13-57, Castillo 5-(minus 5), Williams 1-19. PASSING – Valley Christian, W. Hagerty 3-6-0, 45. Cristo Rey, Castillo 3-11-2, 41; Williams 1-2-0, 8. RECEIVING – Valley Christian, Roush 1-24, Tyller 1-16, Heckman 1-5. Cristo Rey, Lopez 2-31, Romero 2-18.