In a city of three high schools, the Citrus Valley Blackhawks (9-1) may have established a winning tradition, long before anyone thought they would.
Fielding senior players for the first time, Coach Pete Smolin’s, Citrus Valley Blackhawks have emerged as a football program. His players are a little bigger, faster, and hungrier in their third year as a school.
On Thursday night, in front of their initial ‘Senior Night’ crowd, Citrus Valley managed to overcome a 20-7 deficit at halftime and take the Mountain Valley League title, from a competitive Rubidioux team.
The Falcons from Rubidioux ran up nearly 50-points in last year’s contest and that fact could not be erased from Blackhawk players. In addition, Rubidioux handily won the MVL title in 2010.
Rubidioux’s Daniel Young broke for 66-yards and an early lead. The Falcons extended that lead to 20-7 at halftime and appeared to be in control of the game and their destiny.
Citrus Valley played the second half with passion and precision. Quarterback Justin Lopez connected with receiver Patrick Means for 77-yards and an eventual score. Junior quarterback Dalton Douglass (Blackhawks use two) then sprinted down the sideline for another score and a 12-point 4th quarter lead.
The roaring home crowd came to life in the second half and so did the Blackhawk offense. Running back Andrew Gonzales had 155-yards and a touchdown for CVHS.
The Rubidioux Falcons may have had any size advantage negated by a tenacious Blackhawk defense.
They swarm tackled nearly the second half play, eventually exhausting their opponent. They had no answer for Citrus Valley’s relentless running attack.
Both schools will play on as CIF parings were announced on Monday. Citrus Valley, the league winner will draw Aquinas High School of San Bernardino and play on their home field Friday night.
Rubidioux (8-2) will travel to the East and take on 29 Palms in the desert.
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