Prep Impressions: Aug. 31, 2018

Norte Vista’s Miron Hazem celebrates his touchdown against Moreno Valley during the fourth quarter on Friday, August 31, 2018. / Photo by Milka Soko for SCNG

The Moreno Valley-Riverside Norte Vista Week 2 varsity football game on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, looked like a battle between two hard-running offenses until the Vikings kept making mistakes.

For Moreno Valley, a severe lack of understanding and/or coordination seems to be happening on fourth downs and on special teams. The Vikings had their first extra-point attempt blocked, turned the ball over on downs, muffed a punt return, fumbled a long snap, could not convert a two-point attempt and had a punt blocked.

Moreno Valley Head Coach Ted Wadkins said, “We gave them five short fields. Our defense played unbelievable tonight. Offensively, we lost our best O-lineman (senior G Fiti Moe) last week and it showed tonight with a young kid starting there in his place. But just giving them short fields, you can’t do that. We came down here flat and we weren’t ready to play to begin with. We as coaches saw it and we paid the price for it. Moe injured his foot last week but he’ll be back in Week 3. It’s the kind of stuff that happens. You lose your best guy and you gotta play a sophomore and (stuff) happens. We got a lot of issues but we’ll clean it up.”

For Norte Vista, overcoming its lack of experience and size may turn out to be a theme this season. Major concern, however, is for senior Chris Melesio, the Braves’ two-year starter running, who appears to have aggravated a deep knee bruise. It was severe enough that Melesio was forced to leave the game in the fourth quarter.

Norte Vista Head Coach Ken Batdorf said, “It (the win) is attributed to our defense. I don’t think (Moreno Valley) respected us, to be honest with you. You look at us and we’re not very big, we’re not very old but we’re pretty scrappy. It’s the exact opposite of what happened last year to us. This team’s got a little different swagger. Talent wise you can argue that we’ve got no talent, but there’s something else that’s there. (MoVal) started out with the lead but we never quit running it in there, and our defense played phenomenal. It’s a big win for us. Re: Melesio’s knee – I’ll be honest I’m going to go home a say some prayers. For all those Catholic folks let’s light some candles. Chris is a huge part of our team. He’s an emotional leader, he’s a captain, he’s a great kid. Obviously we need him. I can’t say enough about the offensive line and the job they did at the end of the game. (MoVal) knew what we were going to do but it was, ‘Can we get a first down?’ And we got the job done.”

BOX SCORE
Moreno Valley – 6 – 0 – 6 – 0 — 12
Norte Vista – 0 – 7 – 7 – 7 — 21
First quarter
M – Cole 14 run (kick blocked), 5:47
Second quarter
N – Melesio 4 run (No. 98 kick), 1:33
Third quarter
M – Cole 11 run (run failed), 4:17
N – Hazem 3 run (No. 98 kick), 1:09
Fourth quarter
N – Hazem 9 run (No. 98 kick), 0:52
Individual statistics
Rushing – Moreno Valley: Cole 22-143, Louis 5-28, Avatango 3-0, Grandy 11-(minus-9); Norte Vista: Melesio 23-86, Hazem 13-68, J.Gonzalez 3-10, S.Gonzales 1-2, Allain 1-(minus-3).
Passing – Moreno Valley: Grandy 11-24-0-89; Norte Vista: Corey 4-7-0-45.
Receiving – Moreno Valley: Louis 5-37, Cole 3-26, D.Williams 1-18, Aeau 2-8; Norte Vista: Hazem 2-35, Melesio 1-6, Rubio 1-4.

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