By Jon Gaede, BVN Sports –
As Riverside Notre Dame honored it’s graduating seniors, they played one last home game against Citrus Valley of Redlands. Friday night’s Mountain Valley League matchup pitted the Notre Dame Titans, one of the oldest programs versus the Citrus Valley Blackhawks, the newest.
As might have been expected, the Blackhawks were no match for the age, size and experience of the Titans.
Notre Dame running back Joshua Ivery rushed the ball 14 times for a nifty 138 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. His teammate Dominique Easton added another 81 yards on 9 carries and two touchdowns.
Well coached and virtually mistake free, the experienced Titans (7-3) will continue to play on as CIF’s second season begins on Friday.
High School football coaches know very well that the scoreboard doesn’t always tell the whole story. Citrus Valley coach Pete Smolin and his staff have molded and motivated their young student athletes to take on any challenge.
Quite often, the young Blackhawks must compete against athletes much older, larger, faster and more experience.
Cross town coach Kurt Bruich knows very well that it took his Redlands East Valley Wildcats several years to achieve a winning season.
Now they are a perennial powerhouse.
The scoreboard read 42-0 at halftime, but the young Blackhawks have learned not to let down. Their defense allowed zero second half points and their offense scored to avoid the shutout.
The second half was a glimpse of what’s to come for Citrus Valley as their sophomore quarterback completed eight passes to junior wide receiver Kyle Haddock for 116 yards to include a 42 yard touchdown.
Blackhawk running back Taylor Smith rolled up 82 second half yards on nine carries to prompt one Titan coach to say, “Hey, who is that guy?” Citrus Valley’s program is bound to show improvement as their young players mature physically and learn how to win.
Quarterback Dalton Douglass is likely to become very successful in this league.
The 6’2” sophomore possesses a canon arm and has demonstrated unusual poise both in and outside of the pocket.
Beyond the parents who cringe with every tackle as their hearts soar for each Blackhawk first down, it’s a slow building process. The Citrus Valley roster, filled with sophomores and juniors will ultimately make their mark upon the gridiron.
Riverside Notre Dames (7- 3) has drawn a second seed in the CIF pairings and will play away, at Grace Brethren on Friday night.