Prep Preview: Valley View vs. Poly

I’m covering the Moreno Valley Valley View-Riverside Poly varsity football game tonight for The Press-Enterprise and HSGametime.pe.com. The best part of this assignment is witnessing whether or not Poly can win its eighth consecutive homecoming game.

THE LOW DOWN:
These teams will be meeting for the first time in the MaxPreps.com era (2005-Present), and might not have ever played had it not been for Poly joining Riverside North in its demotion to the Central Division and the Inland Valley League from the Inland Division and the Big VIII League.

Valley View (3-5 overall, 1-3 Inland Valley) can run the football, and is averaging more than 216 yards rushing per game. Mitchell Kapesi (804 yards, 8 TDs) and Tevin Thompson (397, 4) lead the way but two other players have totaled more than 140 yards on the ground this season. Coach Jack Fogarty usually has a well-disciplined team, but at just 20.1 points per game, it’s hard to outscore anyone when you’re allowing 29.9 points per game. Junior Samir Gandy led the Eagles to a victory in his first start, but has one just one game since taking over at QB for Abraham Nuno.

Poly (4-4 overall, 3-1 Inland Valley) are coming off a 27-0 victory over MoVal Vista del Lago in Week 7 that comes on the heels of a 27-3 loss to Riverside Arlington in Week 6. This team needs a victory tonight to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since . Sophomore Devontre Hale leads the team with 549 rushing yards and 68.9 yards per game but the team still struggles to throw the ball, with junior Tarique Lusk completing just 35 percent of his pass attempts. Sophomore Candler Drachslin has played well in spots, but he hasn’t seen action since the Bears’ 21-14 victory over MoVal Valley View.

THE KEY PLAYERS:
Valley View — QB: Samir Gandy, Jr. (5-foot-10, 140 pounds); RB: Mitchell Kapesi, Sr. (5-10, 240); Tevin Thompson, Sr. (5-10, 160); Keyshawn Day, Sr. (5-10, 202); WR: Rashad Stevenson, Sr. (6-2, 180); Marlon Archer, Jr. (6-4, 200); OL: Devontay Palmer, Sr. (6-3, 240); Jared Garcia, Sr. (6-4, 260); LB: Donovan Brooks, Sr. (6-2, 225); Anthony Rivera, Sr. (6-foot, 215); DB: Brenton Quintana, Sr. (5-11, 180); Jeffrey Trujillo-Wilcoxen, Jr. (5-8, 160); K/P: Josh Gonzales, Sr. (6-1, 165).

Poly — QB: Tarique Lusk, Jr. (5-foot-10, 180 pounds); RB: Devontre Hale, Soph. (5-10, 180); RB/DB: Chris Navigato, Jr. (5-11, 190); FB/DB: Matt Ybarra, Sr. (6-foot, 180); FB/LB: Leighton Silva, Jr. (5-9, 195); WR/DB: Matt Murray, Jr. (6-3, 190); LB: Aaron Thomas, Sr. (6-1, 200); OL/DL: Yancy Calhoun, Sr. (6-3, 245); K: Nick Blount, Jr. (5-11, 165).

THE DIFFERENCE:
Poly ability to make big plays. Valley View is going to run the ball time and time again and has the pieces to get it done, but if the Lusk and 6-foot-4 WR Matt Murray can hook up a couple of times for long plays downfield the Bears may demoralize Valley View just enough to walk away with their eighth consecutive homecoming victory.
THE FINAL SCORE: Poly 28, Valley View 14

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