Prep Impressions: Sept. 6, 2019

PHOTO CREDIT: INLANDFIELDHOUSE.COM

MORENO VALLEY — The Riverside Norte Vista-Moreno Valley Week 2 varsity football game on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, was a physical showcase pitting two long-time coaching rivals.

For Riverside Norte Vista, chatter that sophomore RB Eddie Allain may not yet be the guy is starting to creep in. Allain and the running game struggled mightily against Moreno Valley’s big and physical front seven, and the Braves offense totaled just 146 yards overall. Allain (stats below) and Co. gained 150 on the ground, but the Braves passed for minus-4 total yards. If not for some stout defense of its own – and a really impressive stand on 4th-and-goal on the 1 in the third quarter – NoVi would have been in trouble. The offense fumbled away its first play from scrimmage, and things got only marginally better later in small bursts. Either way, it’s a win for the second-ranked team in the latest CIF-Southern Section Division 10 poll.

Riverside Norte Vista head coach Ken Batdorf, “We played awful, just awful. We didn’t have a good week at practice, and it showed. We had a lot of guys sick. I don’t want to make excuses but we have a returning center snap the ball on the wrong count. We miss a pass – and we don’t throw often so when we do we need to catch it – but we don’t. We missed a bunch of blocks, and our running backs couldn’t get off. However, our defense showed up. Our defensive staff and the kids play phenomenal. That stop on 4th-and-goal was big. I can’t say enough good things about the preparation of the defensive coaches, because I coach the offense, so I might have of fire myself after what we did today. I made one good call (QB Danny Gonzales’ 40-yard gain in the fourth quarter) so give me credit for that, and we’ve been practicing that. We don’t do that a lot. Maybe we should run it more, but we just didn’t do a good job. I tip my hat to (Moreno Valley). They did a great job up front, but we did not do as well as we’ve practiced and we have to get a lot better. They’re a lot more physical (than Paloma Valley and Sultana), and you know what, they do a great job. We just have to get better.”

For Moreno Valley, consistency may be the most elusive key to its season. The Vikings have two big-time playmakers – senior Leroy Louis and sophomore Elijah Kelsey – and a bunch of still-developing offensive pieces. They play multiple sets, from Wildcat with Louis almost always running it out of the Shotgun, to more traditional Pro and Spread sets with Dyvon Brown taking snaps and handing it to Kelsey or finding Louis in the slot. They ran the ball effectively with Kelsey and Louis splitting carries, but Jaylin Henderson gained just eight yards on six carries a week after running for 100 yards and three TDs. Currently ranked fifth in the recent CIF-SS Division 12 poll – MoVal doesn’t look deep enough to hang with larger programs.

Moreno Valley head coach Ted Wadkins said, “Ken and I have been playing against each other for 20 years, so we know what they’re going to do. That’s not a secret, so I think we prepare every year the same. We pretty much run the same stuff against them ever year now for a long time, so it comes down to who can win in the trenches, and to be honest with you I thought we were better up and down the field; we just didn’t finish. What was it, 12-to-1 on penalties? I’m serious, I mean that was a little bit; I understand high school football, both teams are going to have penalties but it can’t be 12-to-1. It hurt us. It took a touchdown off the board for us, but we should’ve finished. We had 3rd-and-1, 4th-and-1, and that would’ve changed the game. We had our opportunities, and at the end of the day they’re ranked in Division 10 and we’re in Division 12, and that’s what I told our guys, ‘Don’t hang your head. We played well.'”

BOX SCORE
Norte Vista – 0 – 9 – 0 – 8 — 17
Moreno Valley – 6 – 0 – 0 – 0 — 6
First quarter

M – Kelsey 9 run, 5:29
Second quarter
N – Safety, 6:38
N – Allain 1 run (Salcedo kick), 0:23
Third quarter
No scoring
Fourth quarter
N – Allain 1 run (Carvajal run), 1:00
Individual statistics
Rushing
– Norte Vista: Allain 23-62, Gonzales 5-42, Gonzalez 5-21, Carvajal 3-15, Luckey 3-7, Rodriguez 2-3; Moreno Valley: Kelsey 11-97, Louis 13-67, Henderson 6-8, Biles 2-6, Brown 3-(minus-26).
Passing – Norte Vista: Gonzales 2-3-0-(minus-4); Moreno Valley: Brown 5-10-0-63, Louis 0-1-0-0.
Receiving – Norte Vista: Allain 1-1, Jurado 1-(minus-5); Moreno Valley: Louis 2-30, Harrison 2-22, Henderson 1-11.
Penalties – Norte Vista: 3-45; Moreno Valley: 11-100.

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